A new US military study concluded that the massive missile force China has aimed at Taiwan is being constantly enhanced and improved.
While the actual number of missiles may not have increased much over the past few years — there are believed to be about 1,600 in total — China is introducing newer missiles with better range, accuracy and warheads.
“It [China] has fielded a large, diverse array of increasingly capable short range ballistic missiles, particularly within range of Taiwan,” the report by US Naval War College associate professor Andrew Erickson and senior RAND Corp political scientist Michael Chase said.
Published in this month’s National Interest, the report argues that China’s efforts to undermine Japan’s administrative control over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台列嶼), which Japan calls the Senkaku Islands and Taiwan also claims, are raising the possibility of a crisis that could draw in the US by challenging the credibility of the US’ extended deterrence.
“To deter negative Chinese actions in this vital but volatile region while avoiding dangerous escalation, Washington must better understand the ultimate instrument of Chinese deterrence: the People’s Liberation Army Second Artillery Force [PLASAF], which controls the country’s land-based nuclear and conventional ballistic missiles and its ... land-attack cruise missiles,” the report said.
Possessing the world’s second-largest economy and a growing defense budget has enabled China to deploy more formidable military capabilities, Erickson and Chase said.
They said that Beijing wants to wield these capabilities to increase its leverage in disputes regarding island and maritime intervention “in the event of a conflict with one of its neighbors.”
The PLASAF’s ballistic missile development program has produced longer-range, more accurate, improved-payload missiles to upgrade its existing arsenal.
“China’s missile force has deployed a variety of systems, including short-range ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan, mobile conventionally armed medium-range ballistic missiles for regional deterrence and conventional-strike operations, and new mobile, nuclear-armed ICBMs for strategic deterrence,” the report said.
The report said that to increase its influence over disputed territorial and maritime claims around its contested periphery in peacetime and, if necessary, through wartime operations, China has developed and deployed the world’s foremost force of theater ballistic missiles.
At the theater level, China’s missile force is capable of supporting a variety of types of campaigns against Taiwan, the report said.
The report cites a US Department of Defense finding that China probably could not now enforce a full military blockade, particularly if a major naval power intervened, but its ability to do so would “improve significantly” within 10 years.
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old
Police have detained a Taoyuan couple suspected of over the past two months colluding with human trafficking rings and employment scammers in Southeast Asia to send nearly 100 Taiwanese jobseekers to Cambodia. At a media briefing in Taipei yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau presented items seized from the couple, including alleged victims’ passports, forged COVID-19 vaccination records, mobile phones, bank documents, checks and cash. The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), and his girlfriend, surnamed Tsan (詹), were taken into custody last month, after police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport stopped four jobseekers from boarding a flight to Phnom Penh, said Dustin Lee (李泱輯),
‘ORDINARY PEOPLE’: A man watching Taiwanese military drills said that there would be nothing anyone could do if the situation escalates in the Taiwan Strait Many people in Taiwan look upon China’s military exercises over the past week with calm resignation, doubting that war is imminent and if anything, feeling pride in their nation’s determination to defend itself. After a visit to Taiwan last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China has sent ships and aircraft across an unofficial buffer between Taiwan and China’s coast and missiles over Taipei and into waters surrounding the nation since Thursday last week. However, Rosa Chang, proudly watching her son take part in Taiwanese military exercises that included dozens of howitzers firing shells into the Taiwan Strait off
TRAPPED IN CAMBODIA: A woman said that a job offer in Cambodia led to her being imprisoned in a fenced industrial park, where she was sold four times in a week An inter-ministerial task force has been set up by the Executive Yuan to tackle the issue of Taiwanese being lured to Cambodia with promises of high-paying jobs, but getting stuck there as targets of human trafficking, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said on Thursday. Legislators, including Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) of the Democratic Progressive Party, told a news conference that a task force should be set up to address problems exposed by reports of Taiwanese being lured to Cambodia, Myanmar and other countries with promises of lucrative jobs before being forced into illegal work while being subject to abuse. Later in the