By David Lague
International Herald Tribune
February 7, 2008
For a procession of senior U.S. military commanders who have visited China in recent years, the complaint has become almost routine.
As part of a sustained military buildup, they say, China is investing heavily in so-called area-denial weapons without explaining why it needs them.
The term area-denial weapons refers to a combination of armaments, technology and tactics that could be used to dominate a specific area or keep opposing forces at bay in a conflict. And one of the most formidable examples U.S. commanders identify is the Chinese Navy’s rapidly expanding fleet of nuclear and conventional submarines.
“I would say that the U.S. feels a strong threat from Chinese submarines,” said Andrei Chang, an expert on Chinese and Taiwan military forces and editor in chief of the magazine Kanwa Defence Review.
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