Taiwan's Defense Minister Demands Long-Range Missiles For The Island To Repel China

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - 09:05 PM

Just on the heels of Taiwan recently unveiling a proposed defense budget of almost $9 billion over the next five years, its defense ministry is provocatively calling for more long-range missiles in order to deter potential future aggression from China

"The development of equipment must be long-range, precise, and mobile, so that the enemy can sense that we are prepared as soon as they dispatch their troops," Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told parliament in Taipei on Monday. 

2020 test launch of an anti-ship cruise missile, source: National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology

This after Taiwan officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen, have said rapid modernization of the island's defense arsenal is necessary given the "severe" threat from China, which means Taiwan must have the capability to be turned into a "fortress" and "porcupine" in event of attack.

It's unclear what DM Chiu Kuo-cheng is envisioning in terms of the reach of proposed long-range missiles, but it's sure to be seen as a "red line" for Beijing. According to Reuters:

In a written report to parliament to accompany Chiu's appearance, the ministry said both medium- and long-range missiles were being used in intercept drills at a key test facility on Taiwan's southeastern coast.

Chiu declined to give details to reporters of how far Taiwan's missiles could reach, something the government has always keep well under wraps.

China would no doubt see these as offensive and not merely defensive weapons, putting the mainland under threat.

Among the last major US arms packages approved by the Trump administration last year included over 100 cruise missiles and about a dozen truck-based launchers, both with a striking range of more than 168 miles.

So far the mood in Washington and the Biden administration appears to be one of willingness to encircle China with missiles in southeast Asia and among Indo-Pacific allies, an initiative first floated during the Trump administration; however, reluctant US allies have remained unwilling to quickly to make themselves a prime target in China's eyes.