Fri, Apr 04, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Report points to surge in PRC missiles

CROSS-STRAIT THREAT The latest National Security report said that Beijing could launch a 12-hour saturation missile attack and hit more than 100 key targets in Taiwan

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The number of tactical ballistic missiles deployed by China against Taiwan reached more than 1,400 at the end of last year, said the National Security Council (NSC), which said in May 2006 that the figure would rise to more than 800 by the end of that year.

An NSC report released on March 26 said that China had more than 190 cruise missiles targeting Taiwan at the end of last year, rising from more than 100 a year before.

The council said the deployment “allows the People's Liberation Army [PLA] to launch a nine-wave, 12-hour saturation missile attack on Taiwan and conduct precision strikes on more than 100 key targets in Taiwan.”

The report was an update on the 2006 report —– the first ever released by the council to state in detail the government's views on internal and external threats since the nation's highest intelligence agency, presided over by the president, became a legal institution in 1993.

Included in this year's report were the PLA navy's (PLAN) 400km-range YJ-62A anti-ship cruise missiles and submarine-launched anti-ship submarines.

“PLAN has more than 1,000 ships of various types and more than 250,000 personnel. The number of its new large-sized naval vessels and submarine-launched anti-ship submarines had increased to 30 each by the end of last year, which, together with the deployment of YJ-62A anti-ship cruise missiles, equipped the PLAN with the capability to blockade the Taiwan Strait, the northeastern and southwestern waters of Taiwan proper,” the report said.

The report said the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) was preparing to deploy 200km-range S-300 PMU2 anti-aircraft missiles, which, along with its new-generation Air Early Warnings, electric warfares, and more than 10 types of stand-off weapons, “had reduced Taiwan's strategic depth and imposed threats to military and civil aviation in the airspace around Taoyuan and Hsinchu.”

It said the PLAAF had increased its fleet of new-generation fighter aircraft of various types at a rate of 70 a year, with the number growing to 550 by the end of last year.

The Chinese military's successful test-firing in January of its Dong Feng 25 ballistic missile against a weather-satellite marked significant progress in China's space technology in terms of satellite tactical communications, satellite electronic reconnaissance, satellite oceanic navigation and satellite meteorological observation, the report said.

“The PLA possesses all-day technology for aerial surveillance, satellite imagery and topography, which can enhance its ability to precisely attack targets in Taiwan,” the report said.

NSC said China had revealed its ambition to expand its sea power to the high seas.

“In 2007, China's ocean exploration ships conducted 14 sorties in the waters around Taiwan in the name of oceanic survey, intelligence and technology,” it said.

The full text of the report in Mandarin is available on the Presidential Office's Web site. An English version will be publicized at a later date.

This story has been viewed 5621 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top