The military said it is able to effectively detect military deployments in China through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), after it expanded detection zones from airspace over eastern and southern Taiwan to airspace over the Taiwan Strait.
According to a military official, who wished to remain anonymous, the US has expressed concern over how the UAV project has developed and military missions the drones are commissioned to perform.
The US has demanded that the Ministry of National Defense send specialists to brief the US Department of Defense on the project before a delegation was to head to the US for a meeting about bilateral cooperation on military issues involving high-level officials from both countries, the military official said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
A UAV launched from a base in western Taiwan would be able to detect military movement in China’s southeast coastal area, he said.
Given Taiwan’s proximity to China, the capability of the UAVs to detect military deployments on the other side of the Taiwan Strait is highly valued by the US, he said.
Despite the US having sophisticated UAVs that can fly long distances to access the area, there are concerns within the US military that such missions would be costly, as well as there being political and military issues preventing its use of UAVs in the area, he added.
The UAV development program was undertaken by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology. It has delivered 32 UAVs to the army.
In addition to Taimali (太麻里) in Taitung County, where the UAVs are based and training exercises are carried out, the ministry has been in talks with the Civil Aeronautics Administration over the possibility that part of the Hengchun airport in Pingtung could be used as another training base for the drones.
According to sources from the military, the air force’s airspace training area is within the range of missiles deployed in southeast China, making it impossible for the air force to carry out missions in the areas that the UAVs can access.
The military said it was still deliberating whether it would deploy the UAVs in western Taiwan.
BACK TO NORMAL? The move would be part of a gradual easing of curbs monitored by the CECC, which would retain the quarantine mandate if case numbers rise again The Cabinet yesterday approved a plan to next month reopen Taiwan’s borders to all visitors and lift the quarantine mandate for arrivals, provided the nation’s COVID-19 situation does not escalate. The changes are likely to take effect on Oct. 13 as part of a phased easing of border controls that is to start on Thursday next week when a negative polymerase chain reaction test result would no longer be needed, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Arriving travelers would instead be given four rapid antigen home test kits, Lo said. The three-day quarantine requirement followed by four days of mandatory
‘NO SURRENDER’: A blockade or outlying island seizure would be an act of war, and China’s drills last month have emboldened Taipei in its response plans, an official said The Republic of China Army Command Headquarters has agreed to purchase 5,000 Kestrel close-range anti-armor missiles worth NT$400 million (US$12.63 million) from the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, according to the military’s latest arms purchase bid notice. The army asked the institute to complete the order within 13 months, a military source said on condition of anonymity. Kestrel missiles are designed to penetrate armored vehicles and are used in anti-surface warfare, as they feature optical sights and night vision, and can be operated in all weather conditions. The missile has a 400m range, or a 150m range when used for breaching brick
IF THE CHIPS ARE DOWN: The US secretary of state warned that a disruption to the supply of Taiwanese semiconductors would play havoc with the global economy If Taiwan were attacked, the global economy would face devastation, as that is where most of the world’s semiconductors are produced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday. In an interview that aired on the 60 Minutes television program, Blinken was asked whether instability across the Taiwan Strait would be felt around the world. Blinken said that China has been increasingly aggressive against Taiwan, posing a threat to peace and stability in the region, while economically the world would feel the effects of such aggression. Blinken was interviewed for the program after meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758