The nation does not need a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, but welcomes the possibility of acquiring Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multirole jets, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday in response to speculation that the US might offer Taiwan the two systems.
Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the US has listed the THAAD system and F-35s in its arms sale items to Taiwan.
The proposed items are considered an attempt by the US to resume talks with Taiwan about a US$1 billion arms deal that has been put on hold.
However, the ministry yesterday said that it has not received any information from the US.
“There has been no official word from the US [about the THAAD system and F-35s], and the new US administration has yet to appoint officials on Taiwan affairs, so discussions about the arms deal have not begun,” Department of Strategic Planning Director Wu Pao-kun (吳寶琨) said during a Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee question-and-answer session.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Cheng De-mei (鄭德美) said the nation does not need a THAAD system in the short term, as the US-made phased-array radar system at Hsinchu County’s Leshan (樂山) base is on par with the THAAD system in terms of detection capability.
However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) asked if the ministry would cooperate with the US if Taiwan was asked to deploy a THAAD system because of geopolitical concerns, to which Cheng said the ministry would evaluate the necessity should such an request be made.
Cheng’s comments were in slight contrast with Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan’s (馮世寬) last month, as Feng said he firmly opposed the deployment of a THAAD system, because Taiwan should distance itself from the antagonism between China and the US, and that Taiwan should defend itself instead of becoming involved in other nations’ interests.
Meanwhile, fighter jets capable of short or vertical takeoff and landing, such as F-35s, are needed for war scenarios, Wu added.
New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) asked if the ministry would voluntarily reduce arms acquisitions to appease Beijing.
Cheng said the military has been developing the defense industry to reduce its reliance on arms imports and the influence of other nations.
Lim urged the ministry to procure whatever is necessary to ensure the nation’s defense capabilities, which could not be compromised due to China’s pressure.
“It is precisely because of the fear of China’s [potential military invasion] that Taiwan should build up its military and the defense capabilities cannot be compromised because of China’s opposition to arms sales,” Lim said.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
Scooter riders should regularly clean their helmets, especially in summer, to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating and causing scalp problems, such as hair loss and permanent baldness, a dermatologist has warned. Poor hygiene practices by helmet wearers often lead to scalp problems, such as bacterial folliculitis, tinea capitis and seborrheic dermatitis, Lu Pei-hsuan (呂佩璇) at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Aug 31. The first step to maintain good scalp care is proper hair washing, as shampoo residues can easily cause dandruff and itchy scalps, while improper scratching will cause inflammation, Lu said. The best way to wash your hair is to
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
INTIMIDATION: Chinese military maneuvers have mostly led to heightened support for Taiwan’s defense forces, while China appears poised to continue its campaign China’s incessant military activities in and near the Taiwan Strait over the past several months are “greater in meaning than in substance,” and are aimed at polarizing Taiwanese society, a researcher said in a report published on Friday. China has attempted to intimidate Taiwan through military threats, while at the same time calling on Taiwanese and US officials to practice restraint, which is aimed at causing a rift between those who prefer resistance against China and those who prefer peace, said Lee Kuan-cheng (李冠成), a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research. “China’s goal is to obscure public awareness