China should go its own way in E China Sea

By Luo Yuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 21, 2013
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Recently Japanese military officials have falsely reported that Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) vessels were targeted by fire-control radar on a Chinese frigate.

According to Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera, at 10:00 a.m. on January 30, Japanese destroyer Yudachi detected a fire-control radar signal from a Chinese frigate, which was about three kilometers away. Why is the distance important? It is important because Chinese ship-borne weaponry could locate a target within three kilometers without the use of radar guidance systems.

Anyone with knowledge of military weaponry should know that a range within three kilometers is a blind zone for missile launch. Once fired, the missile booster will fall off after one or two kilometers, and the missile's airfoil and guidance system has no time to function during the remaining distance. That is to say, the missile could not find its target even with the help of fire control radar. Why would China use fire control radar within a distance of three kilometers? It makes no sense. Japanese politicians should have asked for help in making their lies more believable. If the United States buys Japan's ridiculous allegation, it will become the laughingstock of the military field.

I also want to point out that it would be dereliction of duty if the Chinese frigate didn't use surveillance radar to warn the Japanese vessel when it got so close. Surveillance radar is used for comprehensive, long-range tracing, while fire control radar is used to pinpoint the location of a target for missiles or shells. The Japanese military, which has conducted intense electronic reconnaissance over China, should be well aware of this.

Should Chinese naval vessels fail to respond when Japanese frigates approach for reconnaissance? Days before the radar incident, Japan had threatened to fire "warning shots" towards Chinese frigates. Who would know if the shots fired are live ammunition or not? Even though they are "warning shots", they could pose an immediate physical threat. Chinese frigate's surveillance radar locks are no more than an optical warning. It is easy to tell which one is more dangerous.

Chinese frigates were conducting normal combat readiness training, so why did the Japanese warship approach to spy and interrupt training operations? Japanese warships and airplanes have often conducted monitoring and surveillance of China's navy and air force in recent years. It was reported that Japan's F-15J plane once approached so close to one of China's patrol airplanes that the distance between the two aircraft was only five meters. I can't think of any country that would not interpret such a move as provocation.

Why should China tolerate provocation from Japan? Why can Japan play by a different set of rules on the East China Sea? If Japan can establish air defense identification zones (ADIZ) and fire warning shots, why can't China?

Japan should be grateful that the Chinese frigate didn't use the fire control radar during the incident. Once Japanese warships threaten our security, China should warn and expel them without hesitation. If that doesn't work, fire control radar might be adopted. It is time for China to make some tough rules that guarantee security.

The author is deputy executive of the China Strategy Culture Promotion Association.

This article was first published in Chinese and translated by Fan Junmei.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of

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