Chinese state media on Tuesday rather unsubtly decided this would be a good time to chat with a panel of “experts” about the possibility of using an electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) against American ships that enter portions of the South China Sea illegally claimed by Beijing.
The Global Times reports:
To counter US’ repeated trespasses into Chinese territorial waters, the Chinese military has the option of using new approaches, including the deployment of electromagnetic weapons, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Firing at US warships is not a good choice unless the US fires first, and that would result in the start of a China-US military conflict, Song said, noting that bumping into US ships might also not be a good counter, as lessons have been learned from the Black Sea bumping incident between the Soviet Union and US in 1988.
But the use of electromagnetic weapons, including low-energy laser devices, could be viable, as they can temporarily paralyze US ships’ weapon and control systems without visible conflict but can send a strong warning, according to Song.
Electromagnetic weapons can emit electromagnetic waves that can potentially jam electronic devices of target vessels and will not cause casualties, military observers said.
The US accused a Chinese destroyer of using lasers on February 17 on its patrol aircraft near Guam, even though it was the US aircraft that had initially conducted repeated close-in reconnaissance that interrupted the Chinese fleet’s normal navigation and training. This is a good example and could be applied more, Song said.
US intrusions in S.China Sea can be stopped by electromagnetic weapons: experts - emp a US carrier task force? that would be war https://t.co/N250Wvw4i6— Bill Powell (@intelOverwatch) March 18, 2020