Sat, Dec 20, 2003 - Page 3 News List

China has a `sudden strike' plan

MILITARY THREAT The DPP yesterday published a report claiming that China could paralyze Taiwan's command system in seven minutes

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

China's top military strategy against Taiwan is a sudden strike that will paralyze air force defenses without giving the US sufficient time to come to Taiwan's aid, according to a report released by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday.

The party's China Affairs Department published a report on China's basic military capabilities in which it is said that Beijing has developed a "sudden strike" strategy to attack Taiwan.

Such an attack would consist of an initial "seven minute shock and strike" missile barrage to paralyze Taiwan's command system, followed by 17 minutes in which Taiwan's air space will be invaded by fighter jets. Within 24 hours of the strike 258,000 Chinese troops could be deployed in Taiwan.

According to the report, prepared by the Institute for Taiwan Defense and Strategic Studies (國防政策與戰略研究學會), Taiwan will have less than five minutes to respond to such a strike, the ultimate goal of which would be to prevent the US from coming to Taiwan's defense in time.

China's fast-growing military modernization and expansion is aimed at a possible war between 2005 and 2010, according to the report.

"China's non-stop military expansion is a result of its wanting to keep playing an active role in Asia, outmatch neighboring countries such as Japan and India and counter the effects of US forces in the region. Taiwan must seek to improve its military capabilities in the coming six to 10 years in the face of China's military ambitions signifying a war between 2005 and 2010," the report states.

DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠), a member of the legislature's National Defense Committee, yesterday said that Taiwan should develop pre-emptive strike capabilities to counter China's military build-up.

"China's annual military spen-ding is seven times that of Taiwan and is expected to increase up to 10 times along with its ongoing economic development in the near future.

"Taiwan will never be able to compete with China's military expansion ? We should move some of the money budgeted for defensive missile capabilities to the development of pre-emptive missile-strike capabilities," Lee said.

The rate of China's military expansion has been steadily increasing over the past 10 years, with an estimated US$60 billion being spent on military purposes annually.

Taiwan's military spending is US$8 billion a year, half of which is used for personnel expenses, Lee said.

To counter the military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait, Lee said Taiwan should use both military and political means to ease the growing military threats from China.

The political approach would include bringing the issue of cross-strait military tensions to the attention of the international community, which would deter China from using force against Taiwan.

Lee said President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) proposed "defensive referendum" would be a good way of attracting international attention to China's military ambitions.

Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強), a former senior advisor to the National Security Council, yesterday warned that the Taiwanese should not be so dazzled by the attraction of China's markets that they ignore the underlying military threat.

Shu said China's definition of Taiwanese independence, which has led to threats of war, varies from time to time.

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