Taiwan has enough missiles to defend itself at present: MND

09/21/2020 06:11 PM
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File photo for illustrative purpose only (source: MND)
File photo for illustrative purpose only (source: MND)

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) Taiwan has enough long-range precision missiles to defend itself against a possible attack from China, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Monday, rebutting reports that drills found Taiwan's missile supply to be inadequate.

"The military regularly replenishes its precision missiles in accordance to military restructuring plans," the MND said in a statement. "The military's stockpile of precision missiles is sufficient for defensive needs at the present stage."

It was responding to media reports on the results of a tabletop exercise held Sept. 14-18 as part of the annual Han Kuang military exercises, which are aimed at honing the capabilities of Taiwan's military to repel a potential invasion from China.

Several media reported that the computer-assisted war games found that Taiwan does not have enough long-range precision missiles for an effective defense when facing a "saturation attack," citing unnamed military sources.

A saturation attack refers to a military tactic in which the attacking side seeks to gain an advantage by overwhelming the defending side's ability to respond effectively.

The MND hinted, however, that Taiwan's inventory of precision missiles might not be sufficient to ward off future attacks from China as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) continues to expand its capabilities.

Taiwan needed to learn how to "rapidly improve its combat readiness and its ability to replenish ammunition" through the tabletop exercise, which was conducted under the most stringent scenario -- a "saturation attack" from China, the MND said.

It also denied reports that the results of most tabletop exercises in recent years have been unfavorable to Taiwan.

"The purpose of the exercises is to identify problems and to solve them. There is no such thing as winning or losing," the MND said, adding that all tabletop exercises simulate the most unfavorable battlefield conditions.

The MND reiterated that Taiwan will deal with intensified harassments from China based on the principles of "no provocation, no backing down" and "the closer the harassment, the more active the response."

Also, the MND said it has redefined the definition of a "first strike" in its rule of engagement to "the right to self-defense" in the event of an enemy attack.

It means that Taiwan's military can only fire its first shot when facing a clear act of hostility.

The PLA has increased the frequency of its incursions in airspace and waters near Taiwan over the past few weeks.

On Friday and Saturday, nearly 40 Chinese warplanes either crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

(By Emerson Lim)


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