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Developments in China’s Conventional Precision Strike Capabilities

By: Akira Marusaki |

Among the range of PLA capabilities undergoing modernization, this study focuses on conventional precision strike capability. In order to address the questions of how and why the PRC has been striving to improve this capability, this study will first illustrate the development of three weapon systems: the conventional ballistic missile, the anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), and the land attack cruise missile (LACM). It will then analyze the reason why the PRC has developed these capabilities, casting a spotlight on historical and strategic backgrounds, in particular the end of Cold War, the 1990 Gulf War, and the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995 to 1996. This study concludes by pointing to future developments in China’s conventional precision strike capabilities, drawing attention to reconnaissance capabilities.