Tue, Jan 17, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Better defense needed

By Raymond Dai

On Jan. 9, local newspapers reported that the Chinese military established an air force base on Dahuo Island to the northeast of Hainan modeled on Taiwan's Chingchuankang (清泉崗) airport, where the Chinese air force conducts drills against what they describe as "camouflaged F-16 jet fighters."

The combat simulation base is, in fact, solid evidence that China is aggressively making preparations for taking Taiwan militarily.

For the past few years, China has been pulling the wool over the eyes of the Taiwanese public, deceiving us into believing that it has turned soft toward Taiwan. The Beijing leadership has been playing a "double-handed" scheme to fool the people of Taiwan by inviting their opposition leaders for well-publicized visits to China and loosening its trade policy with Taiwan in a bid to lessen Taiwanese vigilance against China and reduce its people's sense of crisis.

Seemingly, Beijing's double-handed strategy has increasingly made the people of Taiwan forget China's ever-expanding military build-up. However, we cannot forget that Beijing has never renounced the use of force against Taiwan to solve cross-strait differences.

Therefore, the procurement of three major weaponry systems from the US is a must.

Politicians cannot turn a blind eye to our national defense any more. Instead, they should respect public opinion and rationally deliberate the budget bills for national defense and move the weapons purchase bills past the legislature's Procedure Committee for discussion. Maintaining the political standoff will harm national security.

Raymond Dai

Yunlin

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