Taiwan needs long-range weapons to defend itself against Chinas ‘severe threat’

Taiwanese officials are fearful of a Chinese attack and argue their country needs long-range weapons to protect themselves.

The South-East Asian island proposed extra defence spending of almost £6.5 billion over the next five years, as it warned of an urgent need to upgrade its weapons in the face of a “severe threat” from neighbouring China.

Defence Minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, said his country needed to be able to let China know that they could defend themselves.

He said: "The development of equipment must be long range, precise, and mobile, so that the enemy can sense that we are prepared as soon as they dispatch their troops."

In a written report, the Defence Ministry said both medium and long range-missiles were being used in intercept drills at a key testing facility on the island.

Chiu added that it was important Taiwan’s citizens knew of the danger facing them.

Asked what China would attack first in the event of a war, Chiu answered that it would be Taiwan's command and communications abilities.

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He said: "On this, the Chinese Communists' abilities have rapidly increased.

“They can disrupt our command, control, communications and intelligence systems, for example with fixed radar stations certainly being attacked first.

"So, we must be mobile, stealthy and able to change positions."

President Tsai Ing-wen has made bolstering and modernising the country’s defences a top priority, following alleged airspace violations by Chinese air force jets.

Taiwan has complained for months of repeated Chinese military activity nearby, fearing a potential move from China to force the island to accept Beijing’s sovereignty.

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