The Ministry of National Defense’s annual National Defense Report, released yesterday, outlines the capability of domestic weapons, Taiwan’s increasing role in regional security and strategies for countering the continual threat of China’s military.
The main theme of the report is the military as a “defender of peace,” as it joins with Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in promoting the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy.
The nation’s indigenous defense industry has greatly evolved since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office, ministry spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文) told a news conference in Taipei.
The industry’s advancement has sustained existing projects and initiated new programs, including the manufacture of precision-fire missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), armored personnel carriers, Tuo Jiang-class guided-missile corvettes and submarines, the report said.
“The main military threat still comes from China, as its top leaders have not renounced the use of force to invade Taiwan, have spent a substantial portion of the national budget on increasing its military strength and moved to quickly modernize its armed forces. By trying to unilaterally alter the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, China poses the most serious challenge for Taiwan’s national security,” the report quoted Defense Policy Division Director Teng Keh-syong (鄧克雄) as saying.
Included in the report is a map showing the expanded range of China’s Dongfeng ballistic missiles. The earlier version could already reach Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia with its range of 1,000km.
The upgraded Dongfeng 10 and 21 has a range of 1,600km and can reach all of Japan, much of India and the Asia-Pacific region’s “second island chain.”
The ministry has a new telecommunications unit to combat fake news and misinformation regarding the military, Teng said, adding that through QR codes and the ministry’s Web sites, the unit can engage with the public and the media to rapidly correct false information.
The report was released with a summarized, comic book version that targets the younger generation so that the public can understand the nation’s defense programs and military strategies.
For the first time, the report presents new coastal defense plans to repel a force invading across the Taiwan Strait.
Previously, the military saw beaches as the focal point for repelling a potential invasion, but in 2017 that strategy was revised to include a broader perimeter, the report says.
Taiwan has been forced to shift its strategy as China has been developing expeditionary warfare and over-the-horizon amphibious assault capabilities that pose a threat all along Taiwan’s coastline, Teng said.
The report contains an illustration of how the military would repel an invasion of naval and aerial units, targeting a landing site along Taiwan’s coast.
It shows the nation’s larger warships and naval vessels being deployed along a perimeter in coastal areas as a first line of defense against possible invaders.
Behind those vessels, naval mines are used as a second line of defense, followed by Tuo Jiang-class corvettes and smaller naval vessels, while armored vehicles, tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other weapons systems are deployed on beaches.
It shows precision-fire missiles and military aircraft being used as further deterrence — all as part of the military’s “multiple deterrence” strategy adopted in 2017.
Additional reporting by CNA
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also