Taiwan needs to have long-range, accurate weapons in order to properly deter a China that is rapidly developing its systems to attack the island, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Monday.
Taiwan this month proposed extra defence spending of almost $9 billion over the next five years, including on new missiles, as it warned of an urgent need to upgrade weapons in the face of a “severe threat” from giant neighbour China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory.
Speaking in parliament, Mr. Chiu said Taiwan needed to be able to let China know they could defend themselves.
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, he added, referring to Taiwan’s missile capability.
In a written report to parliament to accompany Mr. 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.
Mr. Chiu declined to give details to reporters of how far Taiwan’s missiles could reach, something the government has always keep well under wraps.
Taiwan offered an unusually stark assessment of China’s abilities in its annual report on China’s military, saying they could “paralyse” Taiwan’s defences and are able to fully monitor its deployments.
Mr. Chiu said it was important that Taiwan’s people were aware of the danger facing them.