ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Politics

Taiwan eyes long-range missiles to deter Chinese threat

New defense review warns of rising cross-strait tensions and 'gray zone' ops

A fighter jet and cruise missiles at Taiwan's Makung Air Force Base. The island plans to modernize its military and bolster recruitment to its forces as tensions with mainland China rise.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Taiwan aims to counter Chinese military pressure by building up its own forces with long-range missiles and stronger cyber defenses, according to its latest defense review.

Mainland China, "aspiring to become an international superpower, is eager to undermine the international order and regional stability," warns the newest edition of the Quadrennial Defense Review, which the Ministry of National Defense here submitted to the legislature Thursday. "It has been particularly imposing coercive means of verbal intimidation and saber-rattling, intrusion and provocation by aerial and maritime assets, cyberattacks, and cognitive warfare -- forcing us to succumb to their will."

The mainland is "posing increasing hostility and threats, further escalating the risk of accidents and clashes, and destabilizing the current peaceful condition across the Taiwan Strait," the report says, later noting years of simulations and drills "to rehearse its operations against Taiwan." China has also repeatedly flown warplanes into Taiwanese airspace.

In light of such developments, the Taiwanese report makes a call "to modernize the combat force."

Plans include air-launched missiles with a "highly extended range" and "stand-off attack weapon systems" -- the idea being to have the capability to make precision strikes on Chinese targets.

The report devotes a chapter to Chinese operations in the so-called gray zone, which "exists in an ambiguous realm between peace and war." It discusses Taiwanese responses to such acts as military drills near its airspace, hacking and espionage operations, and disinformation campaigns.

The Taiwanese cabinet on Thursday also approved the launch of a new body under the Defense Ministry dedicated to boosting recruitment for the island's armed forces, including reserve members.

Taiwan transitioned to an all-volunteer military in 2018 from a conscription model adopted in 1951 amid rising tensions with the mainland. But in light of the looming threat of conflict with China, Taiwan sees a need for a new framework to increase personnel numbers. Starting in 2022, the new body aims to retrain an annual 260,000 people who had left the military within the last eight years.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more