China Has Far More Missiles Targeting Taiwan Than Earlier Estimated
China has almost half again more missiles aimed toward Taiwan than previously estimated, Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian said, The China Post reported.
Chen condemned the threatening Chinese missile buildup, stating that Beijing unilaterally is attempting to change the military balance of power in the Taiwan Strait.
Rather than deploying the 900 or so missiles earlier estimated by Western military analysts, China actually has 1,328 missiles aimed across the waters toward Taiwan, Chen announced.
That is a 564 percent increase from the 200 or so missiles that China fielded in 2000, Chen indicated.
He made his year-end comments as he prepared to step down from office.
China has passed a law stating that either Taiwan will capitulate and submit to rule by Beijing, or China will invade Taiwan and conquer it by force. Meanwhile, however, the United States is committed to defending Taiwan from attack, and has urged China not to resort to violence.
Those missiles China aims toward Taiwan threaten not only the island, but also gravely endanger any non-radar-evading U.S. Navy ships that might come to the aid of Taiwan, such as the current Arleigh Burke Class destroyers and Nimitz Class aircraft carriers. Also, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft flying off decks of those carriers aren’t highly stealthy aircraft.
Meanwhile, the United States has cut its procurement of super-stealthy, supersonic-cruise F-22 Raptor aircraft from an originally envisioned 750 to 183; has cut the buy of radar-evading DDG 1000 Class destroyers from an originally envisioned 24-to-30 down to seven, of which only two may soon be built; and has slammed the brakes on plans to buy 55 stealthy near-shore Littoral Combat Ships with just two of them built. And it is unclear just when the United States will move from buying one Virginia Class attack submarine to two a year.
China, however, is flush with cash and snapping up cutting-edge submarines (including nuclear powered subs that can fire nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs), land-based mobile ICBMs, fighter and bomber aircraft, destroyers, and more.
Chen stated that China is serious about invading Taiwan, with a tri-partite strategy for the invasion.
He pointed to a Chinese version of the U.S. Pentagon Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the broad American military strategy plan. That Chinese document includes being ready for a major military combat capability by 2010, and a capability to achieve certain victory by the middle of the next decade.
"In doing so, China is once again challenging and attempting to unilaterally change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait," the Post quoted Chen as predicting.
China, which subjugated Tibet and gained control over the formerly British Hong Kong, threatens Taiwan any time a Taiwanese leader even hints that the island nation should remain independent of the mainland communist dictatorship.
Chen commented on the Taiwanese plan to hold a referendum on whether Taiwan should seek to be admitted to the United Nations under the name of Taiwan. It is clear, according to Chen, that the Taiwanese people which to remain independent, pointing to a petition supporting the U.N. move that was signed by 2,726,499 people.
Holding legal "referenda is a basic right guaranteed by law, and cannot be opposed or canceled by anyone," Chen asserted, according to the Post.
He stated that China is attempting to set preconditions on any mainland-Taiwanese peace talks, with Beijing demanding that Taiwan recognize the so-called "one-China" principle that says China has the right to rule Taiwan. Such a precondition, which would mean China wins no matter what, is totally unacceptable, Chen stated. He noted that China never bends, and has no flexibility, regardless of which political party is in power in democratic Taiwan.