Lieutenant General Michael Maples, the US Defense Intelligence Agency director, on Wednesday confirmed that China has deployed more than 1,000 ballistic missiles against Taiwan and developed more powerful missiles, with the range to reach all the facilities of the US and its allies in the region. He also said that Beijing may be seeking to operate an aircraft carrier.
In his report, entitled Current and Projected National Threats to the United States, to the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Maples said that China had bought four Russian-built S-300 PMU-2 air defense battalions and intended to buy four more. "This increases its engagement range out to 200km," he said.
"China is developing a layered maritime capacity with medium-range anti-ship ballistic missiles, submarines, maritime strike aircraft and surface combatants armed with increasingly sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles," he said.
He added that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has already achieved "moderate success," and additional integration may accelerate as the PLA explores the full potential of such weapons.
"China is looking beyond a potential Taiwan contingency and is pursuing capabilities needed to become a major regional power. The navy already operates a large surface and an increasingly modern submarine fleet and may be seeking to operate an aircraft carrier," he said.
"Although China may not achieve a true regional power-projection capability in the next decade, it most likely will increase maritime patrols of disputed oil fields and its Exclusive Economic Zone," he said.
According to Maples, China's space and counterspace capabilities have "significant implications" for US space-based communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in a Taiwan Strait contingency and beyond.
"Citing its manned and lunar space programs, China is improving its ability to track and identify satellites -- a prerequisite for anti-satellite attacks," he said.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
Seven senior faculty members, including the principal, of a high school in Taichung were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Friday, pending an investigation by the Taichung Education Bureau into alleged bullying and abuse that led to the suicide of a student last month. The city’s education officials were too slow to suspend those involved, the student’s father told a news conference on Wednesday, at which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and members of the Humanistic Education Foundation were also present. The boy had been a good student and a high achiever during elementary and junior-high, and had
ORIGIN UNKNOWN: The Leofoo Village Theme Park and Taipei Zoo have accounted for their baboons, as authorities continue a 12-day capture attempt Authorities in Taoyuan are searching for a non-native baboon, possibly of the chacma species, that has been spotted several times in the city’s Pingjhen District (平鎮) over the past 12 days, and was most recently seen in coastal Sinwu District (新屋). The baboon was first spotted near a local factory on March 10 in central Taoyuan, Jhensing Borough Warden Huang Chih-chieh (黃志杰) said. Huang said he requested the Leofoo Village Theme Park’s help after a second sighting on Saturday. In other sightings, the baboon raided fruit and vegetable gardens on private property, and has evaded one capture attempt via a tranquilizer dart. Media reported
Taiwan would have established formal relations with Argentina long ago if not for China’s interference, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui told US-based Spanish-language online news outlet Infobae in an interview published on Tuesday. Beijing has left behind a string of unfulfilled promises in Latin America, including pledges to build the Grand Nicaragua Canal and airports, docks, ports and industrial zones in El Salvador, he said. Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other countries enjoy pragmatic and improving relations with Taiwan based on cooperation on the economy, culture, technology and science, he said. While Taiwan is “happy to live and let live,”