Sat, Aug 20, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan must have ability to defend self: deputy minister

Staff Writer, with CNA

China is adopting a “carrot-and-stick” strategy toward Taiwan and the nation needs to gain the ability to defend itself in times of danger, Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) said in an article published yesterday on the Washington-based Brookings Institution’s Web site.

In spite of easing cross-strait tensions, the resumption of talks and the signing of bilateral agreements, China has continued to build up a regional military strength that far exceeds its need for self-defense, Yang said.

Some of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) military actions are “aimed exclusively” at Taiwan, so Taiwan needs to be able to defend itself and counterattack if it suffers under a first strike, Yang said.

“It is expected that the United States will sell advanced defensive weapons to the ROC [Republic of China] for self-defense and to contribute to safety and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Yang said.

The article called for the international media to better understand Taiwan’s position in seeking to buy arms from the US before it is too late, said Wang Kao-cheng (王高成), professor at Tamkang University’s international affairs and strategic studies department.

It has been reported in the -media that the US will make a final decision on the sale of 66 new F-16C/D aircraft to Taiwan before Oct. 1 — in about six weeks’ time.

With China portrayed as a threat not only to Taiwan but also neighboring countries, the US has been pulled into playing a role in the -Taiwan-China military balance, said Tung Chen-yuan (童振源), a professor at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies at National Chengchi University.

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