The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday refused to comment on a report in US-based Defense News the previous day that claimed that Taiwan was developing a new type of anti-ship cruise missile.
In a report titled “Taiwan Anti-Ship Missile Plan Place China’s Navy in Cross Hairs,” Defense News said that an unnamed Taiwanese defense industry source had informed it that the Taiwanese military was planning to build an extended-range anti-ship missile, possibly a variant of the Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) “Brave Wind” -surface-to-surface missile.
Once developed, the military would deploy the new missile on the eastern side of Taiwan and direct it across the Taiwan Strait at the Chinese coast, it said.
The 300km range HF-3, designed by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST, 中山科學研究院), was first unveiled in 2007. At the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition in August last year, the missile was advertised as an “aircraft carrier killer,” widely seen at the time as an attempt to send a strong signal to China as it prepared to launch its first aircraft carrier, the refurbished Varyag, which is expected to enter service on Aug. 1.
Taiwan test-fired a HF-3 into the Pacific Ocean southeast of Taiwan in the middle of June last year.
Citing the same source, the journal said that as part of a program codenamed Hsiang Yang, the HF-3s were deployed on board the nation’s eight Cheng Kung frigates. Another unnamed source at the ministry told Defense News there was no Hsiang Yang program, but said there were plans to deploy the anti-ship missile on both coasts, while denying an extended-range program was in the works.
Ministry spokesman David Lo (羅紹和) refused to comment on the report yesterday, adding that the ministry remained committed to defense strategies aimed at safeguarding the country. It is standard policy for the ministry not to comment on programs.
In addition to the HF-3, the military is also deploying shore-based HF-2 anti-ship missiles along its west coast, as well as air and ship-launched Harpoon missiles. Some of those missiles are equipped with coastal suppression systems that can hit land targets along the Chinese coast, the article said.
As the Taipei Times reported in February, the Taiwanese navy’s two Dutch-built Hailung-class submarines are being outfitted with UGM-84L Harpoon anti-ship missiles — the first time Taiwanese submarines will have the capability of firing missiles.
According to Defense News, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy is especially vulnerable to submarine attacks, given its weak anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
Additional reporting by CNA, with translation by Stacy Hsu
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Two US senators were critical of the WHO after a senior WHO official appeared to hang up on a Hong Kong reporter who asked about Taiwan’s membership status in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. During a video interview with Radio Television Hong Kong’s Yvonne Tong (唐若韞) on Saturday, WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward first claimed not to have heard her question on whether the WHO would consider giving Taiwan membership. When Tong repeated the question, he asked her to “move on to another one.” The video then showed the line disconnecting after Tong said she would like to hear more about Taiwan.