China has successfully developed a laser cannon with a range of over 100km and might have already deployed it in Fujian Province facing Taiwan, defense sources said yesterday.
Intelligence shows that the laser cannon might be able to paralyze the command and control systems of the military which are concentrated in the western parts of the country.
In response, the military has requested a NT$1 billion fund for preparations against potential laser attacks from China in the future.
A defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that there were two different stories about the development and deployment of the new Chinese weapon.
"One version goes that the weapon is still under development. Another is that the weapon has already been deployed across the Taiwan Strait and that there are around 20 units in service," the official said.
"We tend to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We would rather believe that China has already developed such a weapon and that we should start making preparations as soon as possible," he said.
The laser cannon that China is believed to have successfully developed is a kind of high-energy weapon that only a few countries, such as the US and Israel, are developing.
Not much information is available from public channels as to the new Chinese weapon, but there have been quite some reports in the west about the development of laser cannons of similar or different sorts.
The US has plans to develop an airborne laser, carried on a Boeing 747 aircraft, for the purposes of shooting down ballistic missiles.
In 2000, the US and Israel successfully shot down two rockets with a jointly-developed laser cannon in tests held at a site in the US.
Chang Li-teh (
"The US' airborne laser was designed to have a range of between 200 and 300km. If the system could strike that far from an aircraft, it should be able to reach much further launched from land," Chang said.
"Such laser weapons depend on power supply for effectiveness. A land-based laser cannon has a much greater power supply than airborne one," he said.
"I do not doubt China's ability to develop a laser cannon. We can also develop such a weapon. It is up to the government's support," he said.
"It might be too early to say that China's laser cannon is already a real threat to Taiwan. More observation is needed," he said.
China has recently upped its cross-strait rhetoric ahead of next March's presidential election.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection