TAIWAN is set to produce 50 medium-range missiles next year that will target military bases in southeast China, a media report says.
The article on Monday came after former defence minister Michael Tsai revealed in a recently published book that the island successfully created medium-range guided missiles that could be used against rival China back in 2008.
The “Yun Feng” (Cloud Peak) missile has been developed by the state-run Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology and each has a range of over 1,000 kilometres, said the Taipei-based China Times, citing unnamed military sources.
The missiles will be deployed in the mountains in central Taiwan from next year to aim at military targets, including airports and missile bases, along China’s southeastern coast, the report said.
Taiwan has been researching missiles of this type to counter threats from China after it fired missiles near the island in 1996, according to the report.
It added that the “Yun Feng” project was developed with the help of an unidentified European country.
The defence ministry declined to comment on Monday’s report but it has condemned Tsai’s revelations, saying they could endanger national security.
Taiwanese experts estimate China’s People’s Liberation Army currently has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.
Tensions with China have eased since Ma Ying-jeou became Taiwan’s president in 2008 on a Beijing-friendly platform.
However, China still refuses to renounce the possible use of force against the island in its long-stated goal of re-taking Taiwan, which has ruled itself since the end of a civil war in 1949.