Taiwan plans missile drills to ‘boost defensive readiness’

Published (HKT): 2020.10.24 06:20

Taiwan will test-fire missiles towards the Pacific Ocean for four straight days next week to maintain its defensive strength and readiness, according to the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology.

The institute said missiles with ranges between 100 and 300 kilometers (62 to 186 miles) will be fired from its Jiupeng base between October 27 and 30.

In separate comments, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, Chen Ming-tong, said the tests are necessary because showing weakness will not bring peace to the island amid the recent spate of threats from mainland China.

A retired staff member of the Institute speculated that the missiles could be the Hsiung Feng IIE, Tien Kung III or Thunderbolt-2000. Unmanned aircraft would also be involved in the exercises, he said.

Speaking at an international conference on Friday, Chen said “Showing weakness and appeasement will not bring peace.” Noting the increasing military threats from the mainland, he said Taiwan will conduct necessary defence drills and remain confident in its strategy, but not actively seek war.

The minister commented that Beijing has gained strength in recent years and is trying to shape international politics, export its ideology and change the existing world order. He hoped Beijing would act as a responsible power and contribute to regional security and world peace.

Chen noted that Taiwan is an important geostrategic lynchpin in the Indo-Pacific region, and has protected collective interests in the region. He emphasized that regional stability is inextricably linked to peace in the Taiwan Strait, and called on those who share Taiwan’s values to jointly support the defensive line of democracy and freedom.

The minister said Beijing must pragmatically understand that the Taiwanese people insist on dignity, equality and security. He urged his mainland counterparts to cease imposing their will on others, and to act wisely and creatively to boost goodwill across the Taiwan Strait.

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