Taiwan Flexing Missile Muscle

Govt. officials confirm plans for long-range cruise missile capable of hitting China
By Asta Hostetter,  Newser User
Posted Sep 30, 2007 11:29 AM CDT
The Taiwan-made Tien Kung II, surface to air missile, is displayed during the first day of the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007, in Taipei, Taiwan. The three...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As China quietly stockpiles weapons aimed at Taiwan, the renegade island confirms it is developing its own cruise missiles capable of hitting the mainland, including Shanghai and many military bases. The controversial weapon, intended to "make China hesitate before launching any attack," is more likely to ramp up the arms race between the countries, reports the NY Times.

While the Bush administration has discouraged Taiwan from developing weapons, it becomes a tricky balance as China amasses weapons aimed at the island. Relations between China and Taiwan have gone from bad to ballistic recently due to the latter's referendum to rejoin the UN. And China responded tersely to the missile announcement yesterday: “Whoever plays with fire will get burned.”