China considers “separatist forces” in Taiwan an impediment to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and has cited it as a pretext to build up its military strength, with the goal of being capable of launching a large-scale attack against the nation by 2020, according to a Ministry of National Defense report.
Minister of National Defense Yen Ming (嚴明) is scheduled to attend a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense committee today to present his policy report, which was released yesterday.
To safeguard its core interests, China has devoted considerable effort to modernizing its military, developing advanced weapons and deploying its armed forces to enhance its warfare capabilities, Yen said in the report.
Yen said that China would continue to develop a deep-sea navy centered on a fleet of aircraft carriers, and new types of medium and long-range missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles to hone its capability to launch long-range air strikes and nuclear counterattacks, anti-access and deterrence operations to prevent the intervention of external forces in a cross-strait conflict.
Because China has never forsaken the use of military force against Taiwan, the main objective of the nation’s armed forces is to train high-quality and professional military personnel who can meet the need for a prompt response. In annual exercises conducted by the army, navy and air force, the military will conduct confrontational drills to enhance joint operational capabilities, Yen said.
The ministry did not rule out that there could be sporadic conflicts involving claimants in the South China Sea and East China Sea if the claimants retain their positions and China continues to increase its maritime assertiveness, Yen said in the report.
Yen said that the military has earmarked budgets for a series of projects, including purchasing Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, improving the capabilities of the Indigenous Defense Fighters and upgrading its F-16A/B aircraft and its land-based air defense missile systems.
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