CHINA> National
Nation on weaponry's cutting edge
By Cui Xiaohuo and Peng Kuang (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-04-13 07:34

China has developed some of the most advanced weapons technology in the world as a result of remarkable progress in recent years, the China Association for Science and Technology said in its annual report.

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The report, which listed weapons technology for the first time, reviewed the nation's recent progress in nearly 30 scientific fields.

The report, which was compiled by the China Ordnance Society, a division of the nation's largest scientific organization, said that the nation had achieved leading positions in armaments, ammunition and weapons information, as well as ordnance materials and manufacturing.

China had developed its own technology and made progress in heavy armaments, such as high-power diesel engines, as well as fast-burning, high-pressurization and high-temperature cooling technologies, said the report.

These technologies play a key role in the design of fighter jets, aircraft carriers and spaceships, analysts said.

The report also said the country had developed a new series of missiles and cannons which boost the weapons capacity of the army, currently armed with the equivalent of world's top weapons in the 1990s.

China had greatly improved the firing range, accuracy and impact of its weaponry, while also making progress in torpedoes and depth charges.

Battle automation, detection and night-vision technologies had also reached the international level, the report said, pointing to the high standard of the nation's craftsmanship in latex materials used in missile and space technologies.

"The light weaponry used by China's armed forces ranks among the best in the world, but there is still an obvious gap between China and the world's state-of-the-art naval and aerial weapon technologies," Li Daguang, a weapons expert at the National Defense University in Beijing, told China Daily.

The report said China still lags behind the major powers in heavy armaments such as tanks, as well as information-based technology and tactics - areas that are deciding factors in modern combat.

The report suggested that China further upgrade the technological level of its weaponry, while developing new materials.

The country's arms producers are also encouraged to expand exchanges with foreign countries.

The report accurately reflects the current state of China's weapons technology, military experts said.

Wang Jinling, a Beijing-based military strategist, said tactics and information technology were more important to a modern army than sheer firepower.

"These advanced technologies showcase the capability of China's military industry, not the capability of China's military strength," Wang pointed out.