(TAIWAN) JUST IN: Officials have said it has begun mass production of a long-range missile and is developing three other models, in a rare admission of efforts to develop strike capacity amid growing Chinese pressure & warnings #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.25: Taiwan’s armed forces, dwarfed by China’s, are in the midst of a modernisation program to offer a more effective deterrent, including the ability to hit back at bases deep within China in the event of a conflict:

‘Taiwan begins mass production of long-range missile amid China tensions which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory — has stepped up military activity near the island as it tries to force the government in Taipei to accept Beijing’s claims of sovereignty’

Posted 3h ago

Taiwanese soldiers take part in a military drill. Troops move behind a camouflaged vehicle, there are tanks in the background.
China has stepped up military activity near Taiwan, as it tries to force Taipei to accept its claims of sovereignty.(AP: Chiang Ying-ying)

Taking questions in Parliament, Taiwan Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said developing a long-range attack capability was a priority.

Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng arrives at the parliament in Taipei, Taiwan.
Mr Chiu says research on long-range weapons had “never stopped”.(Reuters: Ann Wang)

“We hope it is long-range, accurate, and mobile,” he said, adding research on such weapons by the state-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology had “never stopped”.

Standing next to Mr Chiu, the institute’s deputy director, Leng Chin-hsu, said one long-range, land-based missile had already entered production, with three other long-range missiles in development.

Mr Leng said it was “not convenient” for him to provide details on how far the missile could fly.

The institute — which is leading Taiwan’s weapon development efforts — has in recent months carried out a series of missile tests off its south-eastern coast.

Media in Taiwan have carried images of missiles launching and instructions have been given to aircraft to stay clear of the test area, but the tests have otherwise been shrouded in secrecy.

Taiwan’s armed forces have traditionally concentrated on defending the island from a Chinese attack.

But President Tsai Ing-wen has stressed the importance of developing an “asymmetrical” deterrent, using mobile equipment that is hard to find and destroy, and capable of hitting targets far from Taiwan’s coast.

Washington — Taipei’s main foreign arms supplier — has been eager to create a military counterbalance to Chinese forces, building on an effort known within the Pentagon as “Fortress Taiwan”. 

Reuters/ABC/

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.25: 2021:

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#china, #missile, #production, #taiwan