Taiwan says needs long-range weapons to deter China
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen waves to the media aboard the PFG-1112 Ming Chuan, a Perry-class guided missile frigate, after a commissioning ceremony at Kaohsiung’s Zuoying naval base, Taiwan November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo
TAIPEI, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Taiwan needs to have long-range, accurate weapons in order to properly deter a China that is rapidly developing its systems to attack the island, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Monday.
Taiwan this month proposed extra defence spending of almost $9 billion over the next five years, including on new missiles, as it warned of an urgent need to upgrade weapons in the face of a “severe threat” from giant neighbour China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory. read more
Speaking in parliament, Chiu said Taiwan needed to be able to let China know they could defend themselves.
“The development of equipment must be long range, precise, and mobile, so that the enemy can sense that we are prepared as soon as they dispatch their troops,” he added, referring to Taiwan’s missile capability.
In a written report to parliament to accompany Chiu’s appearance, the ministry said both medium- and long-range missiles were being used in intercept drills at a key test facility on Taiwan’s southeastern coast.
Chiu declined to give details to reporters of how far Taiwan’s missiles could reach, something the government has always keep well under wraps.
Taiwan offered an unusually stark assessment of China’s abilities in its annual report on China’s military, saying they could “paralyse” Taiwan’s defences and are able to fully monitor its deployments. read more
Chiu said it was important that Taiwan’s people were aware of the danger facing them.
Asked what China would attack first in the event of a war, Chiu answered that it would be Taiwan’s command and communications abilities.
“On this the Chinese Communists’ abilities have rapidly increased. They can disrupt our command, control, communications and intelligence systems, for example with fixed radar stations certainly being attacked first,” he said.
“So we must be mobile, stealthy and able to change positions.”
President Tsai Ing-wen has made bolstering and modernising defences a priority, to make the island into a “porcupine” that is hard to attack.
Taiwan has complained for months of repeated Chinese military activity near it, particularly of air force jets entering Taiwan’s air defence zone.
China has been ramping up efforts to force the democratically governed island to accept Chinese sovereignty. Most Taiwanese have no shown no desire to be ruled by autocratic Beijing.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; addititional reporting by Roger Tung; Editing by Robert Birsel
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
China’s Xi warns of ‘grim’ Taiwan situation in letter to opposition
Eric Chu waves to supporters after winning the chairmanship of Taiwan’s main opposition Kuomintang Party (KMT), in Taipei, Taiwan, September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIPEI, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The situation in the Taiwan Strait is “complex and grim”, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote in a congratulatory letter on Sunday to the newly elected leader of Taiwan’s main opposition party, who has pledged to renew talks with Beijing.
Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) elected as their leader on Saturday former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, who said he would rekindle stalled high-level contacts with China’s ruling Communist Party.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty, even though most Taiwanese have shown no interest in being governed by Beijing.
In Xi’s letter, a copy of which was released by the KMT, he said both parties had had “good interactions” based on their joint opposition to Taiwan independence.
“At present, the situation in the Taiwan Strait is complex and grim. All the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation must work together with one heart and go forward together,” wrote Xi, who is also head of the Communist Party.
He expressed hope that both parties could cooperate on “seeking peace in the Taiwan Strait, seeking national reunification and seeking national revitalisation”.
Chu, who badly lost the 2016 presidential election to current President Tsai Ing-wen, responded to Xi that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait were “all the children of the Yellow Emperor” - in other words, all Han Chinese.
Chu blamed Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for tensions with Beijing after pursuing anti-China policies.
Chu, who met Xi in China in 2015, said he hoped to “seek common ground and respect differences, increase mutual trust and geniality, strengthen exchanges and cooperation so as to allow the continued peaceful development of cross-strait relations”.
Under outgoing KMT leader Johnny Chiang’s 17-month tenure, high-level contacts with China stalled amid military tensions and suspicion in Beijing the party was not sufficiently committed to the idea Taiwan was part of “one China”.
As well as losing the 2016 polls, the KMT were trounced in elections last year after failing to shake DPP accusations they were Beijing’s lackeys.
China refuses to talk to Tsai, calling her a separatist. She says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, the island’s formal name, and that only Taiwan’s people have the right to decide their own future.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by William Mallard
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Taiwan says China is a ‘bully’ after one of the largest PLA warplane incursions yet
Taipei, Taiwan (CNN) Taiwan on Thursday accused China of “bullying” after Beijing sent a total of 24 warplanes into its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the third-largest incursion in the past two years of heightened tensions between Beijing and Taipei.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, including bombers, fighter jets, anti-submarine planes and airborne early warning and control planes, entered Taiwan’s ADIZ in two groups – one of 19 planes and a second cohort of five jets that came later in the day.
A map released by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry showed some Chinese aircraft, including H-6 bombers, flying around the southern part of Taiwan, and angling up to the island’s east.
19 PLA aircraft (J-1612, Y-8 ASW2, H-62, Y-8 EW and J-112) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ in the morning of September 23, 2021. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/c5EJJFhzKL pic.twitter.com/81fIdFbWFI — 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) September 23, 2021
5 PLA aircraft (J-162, KJ-500 AEW&C and J-112) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ in the afternoon of September 23, 2021. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/dnE5VagCye pic.twitter.com/GiQEnVdTZM — 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) September 23, 2021
In response, the ministry said radio warnings were issued and air defense missile systems were deployed to monitor the activity.
The incursions did not violate Taiwan’s sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from its coast. The US Federal Aviation Administration defines an ADIZ as “a designated area of airspace over land or water within which a country requires the immediate and positive identification, location and air traffic control of aircraft in the interest of the country’s national security.”