The growth of China’s aerospace military in 2007 was astonishing, and at the same time, worrisome to some countries. Last year, Beijing sent ballistic missiles to destroy an aged meteorological satellite and launched their first lunar probe, the Chang’e 1. At the same time, China was planning to link up with Russia to explore Mars. Recently the Commission of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND) has released news that China plans to launch 15 rockets, 17 satellites, and one manned spaceflight in 2008.
On December 12, 2007, Outlook Weekly, an economic and political weekly magazine run by the Xinhua News Agency, published an article titled “The Developing Trend of China’s Air Defense Missile System.” The author, Liu Erqi, is the chief of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee from the Second Research Institute of China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp. The following are translated excerpts of his article. 
“Under strict attention from the Party and national leaders, China’s air defense missile system has gone through 50 years of difficult struggle. The Second Research Institute has grown out of the Fifth Research Institute under the Ministry of Defense, with additional experts from other civil and military agencies. The institute is primarily responsible for developing the air defense missile systems. The early technologies were introduced and replicated from the former Soviet Union. Since then, the institute has developed a missile defense system based on its own design, along with learning from other countries’ research results. … Up to the 1990s, the system had developed into a multiple air defense missile weapon system, including three altitudes (high, medium, and low altitude) and four series (medium-to-high altitude, low-to-medium altitude, ultra low-to-low altitude, and portable) of air defense missile weapon systems.
“Currently, the R&D department of the institute is actively upgrading the missile weapons, as well as perfecting the weapon system in long, intermediate, and short ranges. Long range refers to 250 km and above; intermediate range refers to 50 km to 200 km; short range refers to 30 km and below. They are paving the road for developing a digital air defense network.”
“The fist generation air defense missiles, Hongqi No. 1 and No. 2, had the capability of medium-to-high altitude targets. We also developed Hongqi No. 61 that targets low-to-medium objects and Hongying No. 5 portable missiles.”
“In the 1970s, China started to develop its second-generation air defense missile system, while other countries already started R&D for third-generation air defense missile systems. Therefore, our product was a combination of the second- and third-generation from the technological point of view. It is more appropriate to call it a post-second-generation air defense missile system.
“The main characteristics of the second-generation technology include low-altitude capability, small-sized missiles and systems, solidified missile propulsion system, mini-sized electronic devices, and decreased vehicular needs for carrying the weapons.
“The main characteristics of the third-generation technology include anti-guidance air defense systems, improved anti-interference capability, further smaller-sized missiles, multi-target capability, and a multi-weapon coordination system.
“Upon borrowing the technologies used for the Patriot-1, SA-10, Javelin, and Crotale missiles from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France, China developed Qianwei portable missiles, and FM-80 and FM-90 low-altitude short-range missiles. After that, we developed the third-generation medium-to-high altitude, intermediate-and-long-range air defense missile FD-2000.
“It was worthwhile to mention that in the 1980s, the Taiwan area of China, under the help of the United States, developed the Tiangong No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 air defense missiles modeled from the Patriot missiles of the United States.”
“The air defense missile system was only one type of weapon to protect the China’s air space. Other important directions for developing air defense weapons include guided air-defense artillery shells and laser weapons.”
 Outlook Weekly Article: The Developing Trend of China’s Air Defense Missile System, December, 12, 2007