China: August 10, 2004

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China is rapidly installing more ballistic missiles on the coast opposite Taiwan. By next year, it's expected that about 800 missiles will be in position. If used, perhaps 75 percent of the missiles would actually hit their target (the others would suffer failures in propulsion or guidance systems.) Each missile is the equivalent of a half ton bomb. But currently, the missiles have primitive guidance systems, meaning that the warheads will usually hit up to 500 meters from the target. The Chinese are believed to be equipping the missiles with GPS, although the Taiwanese can jam this. Guidance systems that are more difficult to jam are in the works, but are probably five or more years away. 

 

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