The Takshashila PLA Insight: Issue No 6

Big Story: Do you believe in UFOs?

Chinese social media was flooded on June 2, Sunday, with messages of people claiming to have spotted a UFO with a long white tail of smoke. However, the PLA Rocket Force on June 4, Tuesday, posted a photo of a missile on a mobile launcher on Weibo. The photo was captioned with a rhetorical question, “Do you believe in UFOs too?” This led to suspicion in Chinese and international press regarding a missile test by the PLA.

SCMP carried an article confirming the test. According to the report, a missile test by the PLA Rocket Force on Sunday involved a mid-ranged Dongfeng missile refitted with an improved guidance system. It attributed this information to an anonymous military source in Beijing. According to the report, observers in China had anticipated a missile test due to a notice issued by the Liaoning Maritime Safety Administration last week. The notice declared the Bohai Bay area – the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea in northeast China – off limits to marine traffic from the early morning until noon on Sunday.

The notice had triggered a speculation that China might test the next generation strategic intercontinental JL-3 missile. The third-generation missile has a flight range of 9,000 km. But it is still reportedly less than the 12,000 km range of the American Trident II and Russian Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The test coincided with the Chinese Defence Minister, Wei Fenghe’s address at the Shangri La Dialogue and the release of US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Check this link for the missile test/ UFO video.

There is still confusion on the test being land or water based in nature. According to a Chinese language news outlet, Sina news, the test was China’s installation of hyper sonic warhead with a range of 12,000 km from the Submarine Jet-3 missile. 中国疑试射巨浪3或装备高超音速弹头 射程1.2万公里.

However, SCMP and Global Times reported that it was a land based missile test. The Chinese Defence Ministry has given no clarification yet.

Developing Stories

-Chinese naval task force visits Australia

Last week, I had covered reports of Australian navy pilots targeted by lasers in the South China Sea. This week, a task force of three Chinese warships has docked at Sydney harbour. ABC News has reported that it was a surprise visit. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the government was aware of the exercise. He said that it was a “reciprocal visit” in response to Australian naval vessels visiting China.

“It may have been a surprise to others but it certainly wasn’t a surprise to the Government. [The Chinese vessels] were returning from counter-drug-trafficking operations in the Middle East and that is a further demonstration of the relationship we have,” Morrison said…

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