Because China has never signed a treaty banning the use of cluster bombs, to maximize its military position, Taiwan will continue to include the weapons in its arsenal, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Thursday.
While the majority of Taiwan’s cluster bombs are imported, the ministry said that the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology has made the necessary preparations to independently manufacture the bombs.
Cluster bombs often kill innocent civilians.
On May 28, 124 countries reached an agreement on a treaty in Dublin, Ireland, that will ban the use of cluster bombs internationally. This treaty will most likely be signed in Oslo, Norway, at the end of this year.
However, the world’s main users and manufacturers of cluster bombs, including China, the US, Israel, India and Russia are against moves to ban the weapons and are not likely to sign the treaty.
A cluster bomb is loaded with smaller bomblets, which are sprayed across a wide area and are capable of causing massive damage at distances of up to 25m.
Unexploded cluster bombs left behind after attacks have killed many innocent civilians and have therefore drawn much international attention.
Military officials said half of Taiwan’s RT2000 (Thunder) multiple launch rocket systems are packed with high-explosive shell types, while the other half are packed with cluster bombs.
Taiwan would use cluster bombs to attack ships in waters close to Taiwan. The bombs are dispersed across the surface of the ocean and should therefore pose no threat to civilians, the ministry said.
While cluster bombs will continue to be included in Taiwan’s arsenal for the time being, high-explosive shell bombs will be used in place of cluster bombs if the international ban succeeds.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
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