Sun, Jun 08, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Radar might be compromised: report

RESISTANCE UNDER THE RADAR?A separate report said high-level Taiwanese diplomats said Ma complained of ‘so much domestic pressure’ against a US missile defense system

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter WASHINGTON

Taiwan’s long-range radar, the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP), might already have been compromised by China, according to a Jane’s Defence Weekly report.

Quoting Washington and Taipei sources, this week’s edition says that China has built a large radar system of its own that can interfere with Taiwan’s SRP signals, adding that China has a political motivation to match Taiwan’s huge investment in the radar system.

“By doing so, Beijing demonstrates that it can win the arms race with Taipei — a move that could be part of a wider propaganda campaign to demoralize Taiwan and increase the pressure for unification,” the magazine said.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times reported in a front-page story that there is “rising domestic resistance” in Taiwan to US pressure to expand a missile defense system on in Taiwan that could detect long-range missile threats from China.

Quoting a delegation of “high-level Taiwanese diplomats,” the newspaper reported that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has been “enduring so much domestic pressure” from voters questioning why the nation needs towers to detect long-range missiles that would not target Taiwan.

The charges came directly from the leader of the delegation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Policy Planning Director-General Jieh Wen-chieh (介文汲), during a meeting with editors and reporters at the newspaper.

It was a “rare public acknowledgment of rising domestic resistance,” the newspaper said.

Later, US Congressional sources in Washington with close ties to Taiwan said they were “completely unaware” of any significant resistance to the radar installations.

US House of Representatives Armed Services seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes has called for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency to explore the costs and benefits of merging Taiwan’s early-warning radar with US missile and sensor systems.

A number of radar installations have been built along Taiwan’s western coastline and Jieh told the Washington Times that some in Taiwan are resisting the idea of expanding the system.

He said the Ma administration believed the radar system helped both Taiwan and the US.

Jieh is quoted as saying: “It’s not my personal criticism, but a lot of people’s criticism in Taiwan is that: ‘Hey, why do we, Taiwan, need such big radar towers that can detect the inner land of mainland China? We don’t need that actually.’ That’s some people’s argument.”

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