Taiwan has started work on a long-range cruise missile capable of reaching cities in mainland China—and the country is producing it en masse. A Taiwanese defense official told legislators “mass production” of the missile was “going smoothly,” following years of rumors. The Chichun missile’s development represents a break with Taiwan’s “long-term” defense strategy, which focuses on defending against attacks within the Taiwan Strait, notes the Wall Street Journal.
Since 2008, Taiwan and China have forged closer economic bonds, but China, which has more than 1,000 ballistic missiles aimed at the island, hasn’t discounted a military response to any move toward formal Taiwanese independence. Taiwan says it isn’t planning on threatening anyone, but “we have to be pragmatists,” said a legislator. “I think at long last Beijing will come to realize that to remove those missiles will be in their best interest.”