Thu, Jan 20, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan needs advanced weapons, strategist says

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lin Chong-pin, former vice minister of national defense and currently professor in the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University, smiles during a promotional event for his new book, ``Win with Wisdom: Wrestling with a Giant.''


Former vice-minister of National Defense Lin Chong-bin (林中斌) warned yesterday that Taiwan needs to purchase and maintain advanced weapons, or else China will take over the country by means of its military threats and political blackmail.

Lin, a prestigious military strategist, made the remarks yesterday during the launch of his new book, Win with Wisdom: Wrestling with a Giant.

Asked about the government's proposed purchase of arms from the US, Lin said that "maintaining advanced military capabilities are crucial for Taiwan."

"Without [Taiwan's] continued purchases of high-tech armaments, mainly from the US, China would reach its reunification purpose just through military threats and political blackmail," he said.

"However, the procurement of high-tech weapons is not everything. It is clear that China has been developing `asymmetrical warfare' toward Taiwan, aiming at taking Taiwan in a very short time before other countries can get involved in the war. As a result, Taiwan should learn to confront a fast, asymmetrical war from China," he said.

For example, he said, Taiwan should strengthen its capabilities for engaging in street warfare.

By research and practice, such as the US war with Iraq, it is evident that high-tech weapons do not necessarily guarantee an edge in a street war, and a protracted street war would break the illusion of one side winning quickly, Lin said.

Therefore, the government should train the military and even the public to engage in street warfare, so that Beijing will understand that Taiwanese are not only determined to resist an invasion, but also that China would not be able to win before other countries get involved, he said.

"This strategy will deter China from waging a war, and it is a cheap way. In fact, this is the main idea of my new book: Win from the weak side, win with wisdom," Lin said.

Lin said that China has been working on its capability to engage in information warfare by developing its capability to use Internet viruses, killer satellites, electromagnetic pulses and laser weapons to destroy satellites, intelligence collection nodes and command-and-control systems.

He said that Taiwan should also develop a reasonable environment to discuss defense issues and that the Legislative Yuan should not block necessary arms bills.

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