New Taiwanese Missiles Could Reach China
Island 'mass-producing' weapons despite closer economic ties
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2010 9:14 AM CST
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou speaks outside a polling station after casting his ballot in local elections Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, in Taipei, Taiwan.   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

(Newser) – 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.”

 

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