03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

China Close To Fielding The World's First Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile

China has built up a sophisticated navy in preparation for a potential conflict with Taiwan, a new report from the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) reveals.

The 51-page report is available to download from the Federation of American Scientists website.

Since the late 1990s, Beijing has made a conscious effort to increase the strength of the Chinese navy in the shortest time frame possible, the report argues. These efforts are due, in part, to the strengthening of both Taiwan and Japan's navies.

In particular, US intervention in the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1996 appears to have prompted the Chinese to prepare for similar situations in the future. One section of the report reads:

China's modernization efforts have principally focused on preparing for a Taiwan conflict, with a large portion directed at developing capabilities to deter, delay and if necessary degrade potential U.S. military intervention.

The report goes onto reveal that China is developing the world's first anti-ship ballistic missile - "specifically designed to defeat U.S. carrier strike groups."

In an article from November 17, Bloomberg quoted Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budget Assessments in Washington, who said that the missile could create a "no go" area for the U.S. Navy.

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