Xi rewards Chinese missile brigade for launching 100 missiles
Beijing: China's new leader Xi Jinping, who has been focusing on beefing up Chinese military in the backdrop of deepening disputes with neighbours, on Monday conferred top honours on a missile brigade for successfully launching 100 missiles.
Xi, Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC), signed an order to give a Class I Merit Citation to the brigade, which was not identified, official media reported.
The missile brigade is affiliated with the Second Artillery Force, a one-lakh strong military body that controls missile units of the People's Liberation Army, the world's largest standing army.
According to a statement from the CMC, the brigade has performed well in 10 undisclosed military tasks and participated in National Day military reviews twice in its 20-year history, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The brigade has successfully launched more than 100 missiles, the most among the missile brigades of the Second Artillery Force, the statement said.
In August last year, state-run CCTV reported China's test firing of 14,000 km range nuclear capable ICBM DF-41 which can carry 10 warheads providing "first strike capability" with ability to strike targets deep inside United States and round the world.
Last month, China successfully carried out its second interceptor missile test as part of its efforts to build a missile shield to intercept incoming warheads.
China is rapidly expanding its military in recent years, specially after US announced plans to deploy 60 per cent of its military assets in the Asia-Pacific, a move China says is aimed at containing its rise.
Besides launching its first aircraft carrier last year, China also launched two stealth fighters and carrier landing jet fighter.
The new military build up with a USD 106 billion defence budget last year comes in the midst of China's growing maritime disputes with Japan and a host of neighbours in East and South China Seas.
Since he took over as new leader, Xi has visited all military brigades exhorting them to prepare well to win wars.