US-based Foreign Policy magazine says that Taiwan should “mimic mainland China’s missile program” rather than ask the US to sell it advanced F-16C/D aircraft.
“Mobile launchers, which unlike airfields could evade detection and targeting, could support both -battlefield and strategic missiles that could hold targets on the mainland at risk,” says an article on the magazine’s Web site called “This Week at War: Rumsfeld’s Revenge.”
“Such a program could do a better job of restoring a military balance across the Taiwan Strait than would fixed-wing aircraft operating from vulnerable bases,” said the article by Robert Haddick, who writes a weekly column for the magazine.
Haddrick adds that Taiwan has long been pursuing a variety of indigenous missile types, but that engineers have yet to work all of the bugs out.
“A test last week of a new supersonic anti-ship cruise missile failed to find its target. This followed two more failed tests earlier this year of other missile designs,” he says. “But Taiwan’s struggle to adapt to the immense missile threat from the mainland — over a thousand ballistic missiles are now aimed at Taiwan and a hundred more are added every year — also applies to US military strategy in the region.”
“United States military plans can no more rely on fixed bases and concentrated surface naval forces than Taiwan can. In the meantime, Taiwan could use some missile engineers instead of more F-16s,” he says.
Haddick, managing editor of Small Wars Journal and a former US Marine Corps officer, reports that the administration of US President Barack Obama sold Taiwan a package of exclusively defensive equipment in January last year and that as a result “blew up” the Pentagon’s relationship with Beijing for more than a year.
“An F-16 deal would undoubtedly be even more explosive,” Haddrick’s article says.
It says that both former US president George W Bush and Obama have demurred on Taiwan’s F-16 request “for good reason.” China’s ballistic and cruise missile force is more than capable of crushing Taiwan’s airfields, rendering its fixed-wing air power nearly useless, it says.
“Anticipating this, Taiwan has plans to fly its fighters from highways. But this is no way to generate enough sorties to confront a high-intensity attack from China,” he says. “Fighter aircraft need maintenance, fuel, ordnance and much other support, all of which are efficiently located at modern airbases, not by the side of a highway.”
WAR FUNDING: A report by UK and Ukrainian defense analysts said that Taiwanese exports of a compound used in gunpowder have been helping Russia propagate its war About 20 percent of nitrocellulose — a compound used in gunpowder — imported into Russia has been sourced from Taiwan, a joint British-Ukrainian investigative report showed. Nitrocellulose is a key component of smokeless gunpowder, and the EU has banned export of the compound to Russia due to its ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. The report said that nitrocellulose produced in Taiwan makes its way to Russia by passing through other countries such as Turkey. Only one company, T.N.C. Industrial Co (台硝), was named in the report, which also named China and Germany as key sources of the compound for
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The
FOOD FRACAS: Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu called for the premier to deliver the address at 10:27am, but KMT legislators swarmed the podium to block him Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday temporarily obstructed Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) from giving what is likely to be his last policy report to the legislature in protest at the Cabinet’s handling of food safety issues. The premier eventually delivered his report after a spat between caucuses about how and when Chen should deliver a special report on food safety. The KMT wanted the premier to make the special report yesterday, while the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) said that the legislature should hold an internal meeting on the issue today and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposed Friday. As they could not agree,
ROAD SINKING: The road surface of Qingcheng Street near the intersection with Xingan Street in Taipei’s Songshan District collapsed on Friday at about 9pm Grouting was yesterday used to repair a section of road in Taipei, after work on a construction site caused the surface to partially collapse on Friday evening, the Taipei Construction Management Office said yesterday, adding that nearby buildings were not affected. The road surface of Qingcheng Street near the intersection with Xingan Street in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) collapsed at about 9pm on Friday. When police arrived they found four cars parked by the roadside tilting to one side. Police estimated the area that had subsided was about 4m by 30m, and was about 1.5m deep. They cordoned off the surrounding area