Taiwanese military and intelligence officers yesterday rejected claims by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde (陳炳德) that China did not have ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan in areas along the coast, adding that the missile threat facing Taiwan was increasing rather than decreasing.
“What the PLA [chief] said is far from the truth,” Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) told the legislature in response to claims by Chen, who is currently visiting the US as part of efforts to improve military ties with Washington.
What is deployed along China’s coast is mainly anti-aircraft artillery, while ballistic missiles are away from the coast and under cover, but within range of Taiwan, Kao said.
National Security Bureau (NSB) Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝), who was also present at the meeting, said the number of ballistic missiles China has aimed at Taiwan continues to rise.
Beijing has not changed its longstanding position on the possible use of force to prevent Taiwan from declaring de jure independence and has refused to renounce that possibility to improve cross-strait relations, Tsai said.
“China is in no position to say whether the deployment of its ballistic missiles against Taiwan is a threat to Taiwanese,” Tsai said. “It’s how [we] feel about that. I don’t think any country in the world agrees that the missiles are not a threat to Taiwan.”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said the general was “lying through his teeth.”
The Pentagon and Taiwan estimate that 1,400 ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan are deployed in Yongan, Fujian Province, Leping, Jiangxi Province, and Meizhou, Guangdong Province, Lin said.
Experts on the Chinese military put the total number of short and medium-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles targeting Taiwan at close to 1,900. As part of modernization efforts, older missiles have been replaced by more advanced and more accurate ones, and several now have longer ranges, faster re-entry speeds and countermeasures against the missile defense systems deployed by Taiwan.
Asked to assess the possibility of the US Congress rescinding the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), as suggested by Chen, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Thomas Hou (侯平福) said: “It would not be that easy, although some members of Congress, the Senate and the House support the move.”
“However, the majority of members of the Senate and the House support the TRA,” Hou said.
Additional reporting by staff writer
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be