China to have 2,000 missiles: Taiwan report

China will have 2,000 missiles aimed at its rival Taiwan by the end of the year, an island defence study claimed.

China to have 2,000 missiles: Taiwan report

China will have 2,000 missiles aimed at its rival Taiwan by the end of the year, several hundred more than the current number, an island defence study claimed.

Beijing's preparations setting Taiwan further back in the military power balance against its political adversary could destroy 90 percent of the island's infrastructure, the report published in the defence ministry's naval studies periodical said.

The increase from today's estimate of 1,000 to 1,400 missiles could raise tensions after two years of upbeat dialogue between the rivals that has cleared the way for direct civilian flights and a free trade-style deal in June.

"Even though we've signed the trade deal, there won't be any progress on military issues," Hsu Yung-ming, political science professor at Soochow University.

China claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan and has not renounced the use of force to bring the island into its fold.

The 2,000 short-range and mid-range missiles aimed at the island just 160 km (99 miles) away at its nearest point would follow from Beijing's broader plans to modernise its military, said Taiwan Deputy Defence Minister Andrew Yang.

"In the process of improving air missile capabilities, that could be the number by the end of the year," Yang told Reuters. "We always show our concern, because we see China still has this intention. They are not reducing missiles."

Taiwan officials have said that China, though keen to unify peacefully with the island by offering economic incentives, must remove missiles aimed at the island before the two sides can discuss a peace accord after six decades of hostilities.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2010, 11:10

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