The military is looking into countermeasures against the possible use of a “drone swarm” as part of a Chinese “decapitation strike” against Taiwan, a military official said on Saturday.
The comments came after China’s Xinhua news agency reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Thursday visited the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force Aviation University, where he toured its drone experiment labs.
According to the report, Xi instructed the university to put more effort into drone research as the technology is changing how war is conducted, and told the school to improve its production facilities related to drones and step up live combat training for drone operators.
Screen grab from the Liberty Times’ Web site
Beijing has been developing uncrewed aerial and marine vehicles, and has seen marked improvement in its capabilities to use drones, large and small, in strategic deployments and reconnaissance, said a Taiwanese military official, who declined to be named.
The PLA has been focusing on the drone swarm tactic, the official said, adding that the “possibility of Chinese agents in Taiwan operating multiple drones and attacking the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan or strategic facilities, such as radar stations, cannot be excluded.”
The military has contingencies to handle sudden PLA invasions, attempted decapitation strikes and incidents incited by Chinese agents, and these have been simulated in Han Kuang military exercises, the official said.
Certain agencies have been allocated funding to purchase drone jamming equipment, which has been tested and proven to be effective in countering a potential drone swarm attack on Taiwan, the official added.
In related news, national defense commentator Chieh Chung (?仲) on Friday said that an increase in Chinese nighttime flights near Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) is meant to send a message, to Taiwan and others in the region, that the Chinese air force has significantly improved its combat capability and equipment.
At 7pm on Thursday and 1pm on Friday, PLA jets were sighted in Taiwan’s ADIZ before being chased away, according to reports, although the Ministry of National Defense has not confirmed the sightings, saying that it was “closely monitoring local sea and air activity.”
The first instance of a nighttime sighting of a PLA aircraft near the ADIZ was on March 16, the ministry has said.
That the PLA can overcome the high risk and difficulty in nighttime instrument flights shows a marked improvement in their flight guidance capability and command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance ability, Chieh said.
Regarding the increased number of incidents of Chinese military aircraft coming near or crossing into the ADIZ, Chieh said the harassment shows that the PLA Air Force is attempting to strengthen joint-force combat capabilities, step up training for possible combat and ensure distant-strike capability.
A key PLA goal is to keep Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ “under control,” Chieh said, adding that it is highly possible for nighttime Chinese air force activity near the southwest ADIZ to increase.
The ministry should consider measures to ensure that a potential incident would not escalate into a conflict that neither side wants, Chieh said, especially as both sides of the Taiwan Strait lack mutual trust and plans in case of a military incident.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn