Ankit Panda Profile picture
Aug 17, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read
It's here!
Okay. Getting around to reading now. A few assorted thoughts to follow. 1/x
Report offers a glimpse at new DF-41 basing options, "including rail-mobile and silo basing." Language is noncommital, so unclear if China is pressing ahead with this or not. 2/x
Not new, but first for a DoD report on China mil power (DIA had previously disclosed two years in a row): "The PLA is also upgrading its aircraft with two
new air-launched ballistic missiles, one of which may include a nuclear payload." 3/x
(If you missed it, the nuclear-capable ALBM is dubbed the CH-AS-X-13 by the USIC. Read about it here:…) 4/x
2018 report keeps SSBN count constant at 4 Type 094s. Expected, IMO. Adds: "China’s nextgeneration Type 096 SSBN, reportedly to be armed with the follow-on JL-3 SLBM, will likely begin construction in the early-2020s." 5/x
The mention of "more sophisticated C2 systems" caught my eye—especially given follow-up with what may be required by "future SSBN deterrence patrols". (Quantum?) 6/x
In case any doubt was left, DoD says PLAAF has been "re-assigned a nuclear mission". 7/x
Somewhat disappointingly, this is not the year that DF-17 will be publicized by the United States. (Read about it here:…) 8/x
Interesting notes on China's indigenous BMD efforts, including mid-course hit-to-kill systems. 9/x
Details on Chinese conventional precision strike systems—no surprises here, but good to have the update. 10/x
A map! 11/x
This is a really helpful chart—on PLA maritime bomber operations in East Asia & WESTPAC. 12/x
#Doklam makes the DoD 2018 China report: notes that both India and China "maintain a heightened military presence in the surrounding region" following last year's standoff. 12/x
This is probably the least euphemistic discussion of the Belt and Road Initiative in an official USG publication in some time. " Some BRI investments could create potential military advantages for China..." 13/x
"The growth of China’s global economic footprint make its interests increasingly vulnerable to international and regional turmoil, terrorism, piracy, serious natural disasters and epidemics" — DoD welcoming PRC to the superpower club? 14/x
On #NorthKorea: "China’s objectives for the Korean Peninsula include stability, denuclearization, and no U.S. forces near China’s border" 15/x
Indication in this year's report that DoD is "unclear" about China's interpretation of the applicability of article 2 of the 1961 China-DPRK Friendship Treaty on collective defense. 16/x

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More from @nktpnd

Sep 26, 2018
Mahathir Mohammad at @CFR_org. First question on Chinese economic influence in #Malaysia. "Previous government borrowed too much money."
Says he explained to China that Najib was the problem and not Beijing. But now he's talking about payment pathways privileging Chinese SoEs over local contractors. "That is not good for us. Malaysian contractors have no role to play."
"Colonialism can take many forms. Countries can be subject to pressure through economic systems and that is a form of colonialism also." - Mahathir
Read 20 tweets
Sep 19, 2018
What's alluring about Yongbyon would be the limitation of tritium production, especially if verifiable. Of course, that's a far cry from what the 9/19 Pyongyang declaration suggests.
I'm maybe too cynical, but its inclusion in the declaration seems purely instrumental to incentivize the US to return to high-level talks/a second summit. It'll work in that sense.
This tweet should have followed in this thread:
Read 5 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
PC building day with a friend today. (His PC.)
About to try and POST outside the case.
POST took a bit due to a loose 24-pin motherboard power cable *and* a bad RAM stick. All good now and getting it into the case.
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Aug 30, 2018
April 4, 1993: Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin chat about the North Koreans — "Do you believe that the younger Kim is having any influence here?" (Kim Jong Il was the "younger" Kim at the time.)
July 10, 1993 — Clinton reflects on Japan and the NPT.
The way Clinton talks about sanctions/inducements/altering North Korean behavior here jumps out.
Read 5 tweets
Aug 29, 2018
Oh my: "A source also noted that North Korea believes Trump made the same promise to Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean official close to Kim Jong Un, at the White House on June 1"
So, it all makes sense now. Without it being put in writing, Trump gave KJU in Singapore (and possibly KYC) assurances that he'd do an EoW declaration; his advisors disagree. The bill has come due & admin split on paying up.
One piece of the puzzle now is why NK hasn't made this part of its public messaging about the summit (i.e., as the US has kept trumpeting about what was "agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore," so too could DPRK trumpet what was "agreed to by President Trump in Singapore").
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Aug 29, 2018
Some more insight on the mysterious Kim Yong Chol letter: Pompeo’s NK visit cancelled because of demands for immediate end-of-war declaration, NIS says…
The Moon administration is also on board with an EoW declaration by the end of 2018, with "complete denuclearization" to follow; KYC wasn't out of phase with the inter-Korean understanding here.
Re-reading Trump's June 12 presser remarks, this bit sticks out to me—did he verbally give Kim assurances that the US would sign on to an EoW declaration/treaty? KYC might want to see the money now. (This is why it's good to write things down.)
Read 5 tweets

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