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
COMMUNICATION: A US representative said that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan, which could put US military personnel at risk in the Western Pacific in a conflict Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) might have contravened its Pentagon contract by not providing access to its satellite communication network Starshield in and around Taiwan, a letter from a US House of Representatives committee to the company said. In September last year, the US Department of Defense awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield access, worth US$100 million. A few months before that, the Pentagon also commissioned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to be used by Ukrainian forces amid Russia’s invasion. Starshield is a derivative of Starlink intended for military use. SpaceX has long worked closely with the US military and intelligence agencies, which
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: TSMC founder Morris Chang said he has high hopes for the new fab, based on his experience in Japan 56 years earlier, and amid high demand for AI Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday held an opening ceremony for its first chip manufacturing fab in Kumamoto, Japan, which it hopes will improve chip supply resilience and help Japan usher in a semiconductor renaissance. The Kumamoto fab is slated to enter volume production in the fourth quarter of this year. The Japanese government said it would extend its financial support of the project to include the construction of a second factory, as TSMC’s investment is crucial to its efforts to revive its semiconductor industry. The Kumamoto fab is owned by a joint venture, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc (JASM), which
WAR GAMES: While US and Japanese militaries practice coordinating troops to stage landings, Taiwan is next month to test artillery and uncrewed aerial surveillance vehicles The US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force have begun a military drill to simulate the retaking of outlying islands in Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture in a conflict scenario, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The drill, commonly known as “Iron Fist,” has been held in the US since 2006 before being moved to Japan for the first time this year, it said. The large-scale operations are conducted with a possible “Taiwan emergency” in mind, aiming to keep China in check, it said. Unlike last year’s exercises, which focused on on-site training, this year’s maneuvers include strategy formulation and command for each