Analysts and legislators urged the government to step up the nation’s asymmetric warfare capabilities, after the US Department of Defense issued a report on China’s military capabilities.
The report, released on Thursday, said that the west and northwest of Taiwan are in range of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) air defense missiles, Institute of National Defense and Security Research analyst Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said.
The Ministry of National Defense’s decision to replace Northrop F-5Es at Chihhang Air Base in Taitung with F-16Vs is vindicated by the report’s findings, he said.
Basing Taiwan’s most advanced tactical aircraft at Chihhang would put them beyond the reach of Chinese surface-to-air missile fire during takeoff, Su said.
The military should also enhance its arsenal of surface-to-air and shore-based anti-ship missiles that, in conjunction with Japan’s anti-ship missile batteries at Miyakojima in Okinawa Prefecture, could block the PLA’s access to the Pacific from the first island chain, he said.
The report identified three possible forms of Chinese aggression toward Taiwan: large-scale missile attacks, limited attacks by precision-guided munitions or an amphibious assault, Chinese-language Military Link Magazine editor-in-chief Chen Wei-hao (陳維浩) said.
No nation has ever surrendered to missile attacks alone, so Beijing could well find that it has no alternative but to stage an amphibious assault if it wishes to bend Taiwan to its will, Chen said.
Mounting an amphibious invasion of Taiwan could be a daunting prospect for China, as such military action risks domestic stability and could lead to armed intervention by other states, he said.
While China is unlikely to achieve victory with missile fire alone, the improved range of its modern missiles poses a “huge threat,” as the military’s plans to escape missile fire by moving units east could be rendered obsolete, Chen said.
“The urgent task is conceiving a response that would actually implement the principles of asymmetric warfare, especially with regard to disrupting the communist forces’ ability to push supplies and reinforcements to the front,” he said.
Regarding the report’s conclusion that the PLA could commit its sole aircraft carrier to battle, Chen said the Liaoning has more propaganda than combat value.
Accounting for maintenance cycles, a minimum of three carriers is needed to make a strategic impact, Chen said.
Chinese naval aviation would not pose a serious threat for the next 10 to 15 years, he said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said the report suggests that the US’ armed forces are actively preparing to defend the region.
Taiwan’s military defenses are acceptable, but the military should keep improving the mobility of its units and therefore their survivability, he added.
Ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said that the nation’s armed forces continue to observe trends and exercise control over the airspace and maritime zones around the nation.
“The military will, as the president has said, yield not an inch of the nation’s sovereign territory or an iota of our freedoms and democracy,” he said.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient