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China commissions new nuke-capable intermediate-range ballistic missile

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The DF-26 missile of China.

BEIJING (PTI): China has commissioned a new nuclear-capable intermediate-range ballistic missile that can carry out precision strikes against land- and sea-based targets into the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force.

The Dongfeng-26 (DF-26) has been commissioned into the PLA Rocket Force, China's Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at a media briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

The missile was completely developed by the Chinese and will serve for nuclear strikes in short notice and conventional precision strikes against targets on land and large- and medium-sized warships, Wu said.

"China has not changed its defensive nuclear strategy nor the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons," he said.

While there is no official announcement about the range of the missile, defence experts say it is capable of hitting US military installations on Guam, the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.

China has a range of missiles which can be fired at short notice.

The Dongfeng-21D land-based anti-ship ballistic missile described as a "carrier killer" and the Dongfeng-16G conventional missile designed for precision strikes against key enemy targets can be fired at short notice.

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