Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday dismissed allegations by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government was developing nuclear weapons to confront China's military threat and as a bargaining chip to negotiate with the US.
Chang made the rebuttal on the legislative floor during a question-and-answer session with Su.
Su said that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had told the Ministry of National Defense (MND)-affiliated Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to develop a nuclear weapon.
PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES
He also said that nuclear experts and a former national defense minister from a country equipped with nuclear weapons had been invited to discuss the issue.
Besides developing a nuclear weapon, Su said Chen was also pushing for the mass production of the locally developed Hsiung Feng II-E cruise missile.
Su also said that Chen would seek political asylum in the US to protect himself from possible imprisonment over his role in the special allowance case when his presidential term comes to an end next year.
"With the development of the Hsiung Feng II-E and nuclear weapons, we are becoming another North Korea," said Su, a senior KMT member of the legislature's National Defense Committee.
Su said that he had obtained the information from a DPP Central Executive Committee member but he did not name the individual, nor did he provide proof to back his claims.
Dismissing Su's allegation, Chang insisted that the country had no plan to develop a nuclear weapon.
"This is a serious accusation. As the premier, I assured you that Taiwan is a democratic country with no plans or intention to develop nuclear weapons," the premier said.
"Taiwan will not produce, develop, acquire or use nuclear weapons," he said.
Su also said that the MND had plans to produce 245 Hsiung Feng II-E missiles and had requested NT$34.6 billion (US$1.06 billion) over eight years from the classified portion of the ministry's budget.
Earlier this week the ministry sought NT$3.8 billion for the missile project for next year, but lawmakers cut the budget by one-third, froze another one-third and passed the remainder.
The missiles are believed to have a range of between 600km and 1,000km, putting Hong Kong and Shanghai within their range, depending upon the type of engine used.
"The real problem, however, is not the nuclear weapon or the missiles," Su said.
"The real problem is that we have an abnormal president. He is going to use those weapons for his own interests," he said.
Minister of National Defense Lee Tien-yu (
Lee said that the missiles are being developed for defensive purposes, rather than with any intention of starting a war.
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
As China waged extensive military exercises off Taiwan, a group of US defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the nation. The unofficial what-if game is being conducted on the fifth floor of an office building not far from the White House, and it posits a US military response to a Chinese invasion in 2026. Even though the participants bring a US perspective, they are finding that a US-Taiwan victory, if there is one, could come at a huge cost. “The results are showing that under
WRONG TIMING: The delegation’s trip has not only disappointed Taiwanese, but could send a wrong message to the global community, Tsai Ing-wen said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (夏立言) yesterday left with a delegation for a trip to China, drawing fire for visiting at a time when Beijing has been conducting intensive military drills to pressure Taiwan. Before boarding, he told reporters that the delegation would be visiting Taiwanese communities and students in China, and possibly meet with Chinese officials. The Mainland Affairs Council on Tuesday night said that it was not the right time for political party members to visit China, as Beijing has been conducting military exercises since Thursday last week. President Tsai Ing- wen (蔡英文), chairperson of the Democratic
‘MILITARY PLAYBOOK’: It would have taken far longer for the PLA to put together the drills had they actually been in response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit, Joseph Wu said China is using military drills to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan, and its anger over US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit is just an excuse, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday. Speaking in English at a news conference in Taipei, Wu accused China of “gross violations of international law.” “China has used the drills in its military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” he said. “It is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyberattacks, disinformation and economic coercion, in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan.” He said the Chinese