An eight-wheel armored vehicle was added to the growing list of home-made military systems yesterday. \nThe CM-32 light-armored vehicle (LAV), dubbed "Yunpao" (Cloud Leopard), made its debut yesterday at a launch ceremony attended by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). \nChen said the name was chosen to represent the vehicle's "mobility, agility and firepower." \n"After two years' exhaustive research and hard work, the new armored vehicle has completed its initial trials and has proven able to meet its demands on the battleground," Chen said during the ceremony, which was held at a military base in Nantou County. \n"We named the armored vehicle `Yunpao' because it is agile and swift, just like Taiwan's cloud leopard," he said. \nThe Yunpao was developed by the military and industrial research institutions in a NT$700 million (US$21.9 million) project launched in 2002. Three prototypes had been produced, with the latest recently completing its testing phase. \nChen said the military will pass on technological know-how to private companies to produce more units of the new armored vehicle. \n"We believe the Yunpao project will create business opportunities worth billions of dollars for the private sector, including production, components, maintenance and repairs," Chen said, adding that the project would be a "win-win" scenario for both national defense and economic development. \nChen called on the public to support government policies aimed at strengthening self-defense and to recognize the government's efforts in developing a partnership between the public and the armed forces. \nHe said that Taiwan faced constant hostility from China, which had increased its military spending and was suppressing the nation's "breathing space" in the international community. \nYesterday's ceremony included demonstrations of the Yunpao climbing a steep grade and driving over low walls. With a thumbs-up, an animated and helmeted Chen posed for photographers in the gunner's seat before going for a ride in the vehicle. \nChen also rebutted a report which said one Yunpao unit had been manufactured solely for the use of the president and his family. \n"It's not like that at all. That report has maliciously vilified the nation's forces as well as A-bian," Chen said, using his nickname. \nHe added that neither he nor members of his family would use the armored vehicle. \n"The Yunpao armored vehicle will only be used to defend the nation and its people," he said. \nThe Yunpao can travel at more than 100kph and is equipped with a 25mm gun and a 7.62mm machine gun. The Yunpao will become the army's most powerful armored vehicle when mass production starts in 2007. Its firepower will surpass that of the armored personnel carriers now in service.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to offer advanced 4-nanometer chips when its new US$12 billion plant in Arizona opens in 2024, an upgrade from its previous public statements, after US customers such as Apple Inc pushed the company to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. TSMC is expected to announce the new plan when US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visit the facility near Phoenix for a ceremony on Tuesday next week, the people said. The TSMC plant had been slated to make 5-nanometer semiconductors, a standard that would be far
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Chinese universities sent students home and police fanned out in Beijing and Shanghai to prevent more protests yesterday after crowds angered by severe anti-virus restrictions called for Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades. Authorities have eased some controls after demonstrations in at least eight mainland cities and Hong Kong — but showed no sign of backing off their larger “zero COVID” strategy that has confined millions of people to their homes for months at a time. Security forces have detained an unknown number of people and stepped up surveillance. With police out