The Ministry of National Defense yesterday confirmed for the first time that China has Dong Feng-16 (DF-16) missiles aimed at Taiwan in a bid to increase military pressure on the nation.
In a report delivered to the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, the ministry said Beijing has stepped up military threats toward Taiwan, pushing for military reforms and advancing its joint forces operations.
“In recent years, China’s navy and air force have introduced new warships, domestically produced fighter jets — including the Chengdu J-10, Shenyang J-11 and Shenyang J-15 — and Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 multipurpose fighter jets, and put its latest stealth fighter, the J-20, into service,” the ministry said.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force has deployed DF-16 ballistic missiles, capable of conducting precise strikes on Taiwan proper, it added.
According to military sources, the DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile is guided and can carry multiple warheads, making it much more difficult to intercept.
Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said recent events indicate that Beijing is seeking to stir up domestic discontent in Taiwan by increasing its military activities to force Taipei to fall in line with its cross-strait policy.
Feng cited as examples China’s first and only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, passing through the first island chain in international waters off eastern Taiwan in December last year, as well as retired Chinese military officers’ repeated warnings about the risks of military conflict across the Taiwan Strait.
Responding to a question from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) about Taiwan’s ability to intercept and counter DF-16 missiles, Feng said the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile systems can meet the task.
“As the DF-16 is released at a high altitude and targets a single area, we are able to counter the missile as it passes through the atmosphere,” Feng said.
Lieutenant General Chiang Chen-chung (姜振中), director of the ministry’s Office for Operations and Planning, said the PAC-3 missile system can effectively take down the DF-16 when it is flying between 40km and 70km away, preventing it from hitting Taiwanese soil.
To improve the nation’s integrated air defense capabilities and in response to an increased Chinese military presence in the area, the ministry earlier this month said that it has deployed PAC-3 missile batteries to Hualien and Taitung counties.
Dismissing US President Donald Trump’s reported plans to announce new arms sales to Taiwan after a proposed meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) next month, Feng said the government has yet to talk to Washington about weapons needs.
“Our policy is to consider any kinds of weapons that can truly increase the nation’s defensive capabilities,” Feng said, expressing hope that the US would authorize a large arms sale package soon.
Additional reporting by Lo Tien-bin
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
GRID PROBLEM: A Taipower spokesman said that the blackouts were not due to usage exceeding supply, nor were they because of a problem at the Singda plant There were rolling blackouts across Taiwan yesterday due to a grid malfunction at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District (永安), while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said that it was working “as hard as possible to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” At 2:37pm, a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) triggered four generators at the Singda plant to go offline, cutting power output by 2.2 million kilowatts and prompting Taipower to initiate rolling blackouts nationwide as it worked on the problem. Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) told a news conference in Taipei that