China announced on Thursday that its new intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of precision strikes against land- and sea-based targets has been deployed with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force, a move hailed by Chinese observers as part of the country's warning to Taiwan secessionists and aircraft carriers-powered US forces behind them.
The Dongfeng-26 ballistic missile has officially joined the combat sequence of the PLA rocket force after tests, Wu Qian, the Chinese defense ministry spokesperson, confirmed at a regular press briefing on Thursday, according to the Ministry of National Defense website.
The domestically-developed weapon is China's new generation intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of not only swift nuclear counterattacks but also precision strikes on medium and large targets on land and sea, Wu said.
Dongfeng-26 can be loaded with conventional missiles or nuclear warheads, Global Times previously reported.
It is a weapon "customized for supersized US aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships," as the US is evidently behind Taiwan secessionists and Washington is interfering in resolving the Taiwan question, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.
The surprise announcement came amid a "sensitive period," and together with PLA's war games since April 18 it sends a clear warning that the US should act cautiously on the Taiwan question and not interfere in China's internal affairs as China is capable of dealing with the US-Japan military alliance, Song noted.
Wu also reiterated China's non-first-use principle of nuclear weapons and that China sticks by its nuclear policy of self-defense and minimum deterrence.