Military defence

'Corruption probe' general helps pen defence book

Bo Xilai and Xu Caihou at last year's National People's Congress. Photo: SCMP

General Xu Caihou, a former vice-chairman of the Communist Party's Central Military Commission - the top body that commands the country's armed forces - wrote a preface for a book authored by Wang Xibin, the president of the National Defence University, a top university for military education in China.

Monday, 29 April, 2013, 5:22am

Gleanings from China's defence budget

It is revealed for the first time that the personnel size of the People's Liberation Army in total is nearly 1.5 million.

China's defence budgets and white papers usually prompt questions about transparency, which begs the question of how much foreign analysts already know about force disposition, strength, equipment and command. Nonetheless the perception of opacity is part of the background to a regional landscape which, in the words of China's latest defence white paper, is undergoing profound changes as the US adjusts its Asia-Pacific security strategy.

21 Apr 2013 - 4:56am

Letters to the Editor, April 11, 2013

A woman casts her ballot in suburban Jakarta. Photo: AP

The collision last Friday night between a Cheung Chau ferry and a barge off Hei Ling Chau was not unexpected, since this area is criss-crossed by many fast ferries to Macau and the islands, and slow-moving barge traffic. Fortunately, no one was killed, but this could have easily been as bad as last year's Lamma collision.

11 Apr 2013 - 3:03am 2 comments

PLA takes higher profile in disputed waters

Jiang Weilie visits troops on Subi Reef. Photo: SMP

The People's Liberation Army has stepped up publicity of its military activities in the South China Sea since the change of leadership last month, a move analysts say is intended to send a message to China's neighbours.

31 Mar 2013 - 6:06am 3 comments

Taiwan to test defences with live-fire drill in strait

David Lo, spokesman of Taiwan's Defense Ministry. Photo: AFP

Taiwan unveiled plans for its biggest live-fire military exercise since 2008, aimed at reviewing the island's defence capability against a simulated mainland invasion.

27 Mar 2013 - 5:31am

Taiwan has missile that can reach mainland, ex-defence chief says

Michael Tsai Ming-hsien

Michael Tsai, defence minister in the former government of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, wrote that the military successfully developed the missile back in 2008, The Liberty Times reported yesterday.

17 Mar 2013 - 5:59am

Russia gets cosy again in cold war port

Hats off: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, front left, stands beside Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh. Photo: EPA

Hanoi may never allow Moscow the major naval base and listening post it developed during the cold war, but the visit of the Russian defence minister this week confirmed expanding plans for a significant military presence for some time to come.

10 Mar 2013 - 5:52am

Beijing on back foot in radar row with Japan, analysts say

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said it was Japan that was being provocative by sending ships and aircraft near to the disputed Diaoyu Islands. Photo: SCMP

"The drawbacks for China are that it sets this new leadership in the world's eyes as hawkish, hard-line troublemakers," said Kerry Brown, a professor of Chinese politics at the University of Sydney. "If Xi travels around the globe preaching peaceful rise and all the rest of it, China's actions run the risk of undermining this and creating an environment where there is a lack of trust."

8 Feb 2013 - 4:57am 3 comments

Qing dynasty naval defeat 'a warning' for PLA

The destroyer Harbin during an exercise in 2012. Photo: Xinhua

At a sea-power workshop at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law late last year, PLA representatives and naval experts said they were worried that the problems and failures of the Beiyang Fleet would recur in today's naval modernisation, unless China learned from that painful chapter in its history.

8 Feb 2013 - 4:58am 1 comment

Japan deploys destroyers for N Korea rocket

Officers of the Ground Self-Defence Force (SDF) walk in front of Japan's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile launcher in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Japan on Thursday dispatched three destroyers to waters over which North Korea says its satellite-bearing rocket will travel.

6 Dec 2012 - 4:37pm

North Korea completes rocket installation

A North Korean soldier stands in front of an Unha-3 rocket, slated for lift-off as early as next week, at a launching site in Tongchang-ri. Photo: AP

North Korea has completed installing a long-range rocket on its launch pad, ahead of its planned launch this month in defiance of widespread international condemnation, a report said on Wednesday.

All three stages of the Unha-3 rocket have been placed on the pad at the North’s Sohae satellite launch station, a South Korean government source told Yonhap news agency.

5 Dec 2012 - 3:59pm

Russia, China urge North Korea to drop rocket launch plan

Engineers check the top of a rocket sitting on a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, northwest of Pyongyang, in April. Photo: Reuters

Russia and China urged North Korea on Monday not to go ahead with a plan for its second rocket launch of this year, with Moscow saying any such move would violate restrictions imposed by the UN Security Council.

4 Dec 2012 - 9:28am

Japan readies missile defence over North Korean rocket

Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) land-to-air missiles are deployed at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo in April. Photo: Reuters

Tokyo has begun deploying a surface-to-air missile defence system and is putting its armed forces on standby ahead of a planned North Korean missile launch this month.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:36pm

China expresses 'concern' at North Korea's planned missile launch

North Korea's Dongchang-ri missile launch site, bordering China, in a satellite photograph taken yesterday. Photo: EPA

China yesterday said it was concerned at North Korea's plans to launch a rocket later this month, state media reported, while Pyongyang reportedly notified neighbours including Japan of the planned trajectory.

3 Dec 2012 - 4:27am

South Korea delays rocket launch as eyes turn to North

Commuters watch a live broadcast of South Korea's third attempt at a rocket launch at a Seoul railway station on Thursday. Photo: AFP

South Korea cancelled plans to launch a civilian space rocket on Thursday because of a technical problem amid speculation North Korea may test another ballistic missile.

29 Nov 2012 - 4:00pm