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DEFENSE MINISTRY DENIES DEVELOPING OFFENSIVE MISSILES

2004-04-01 21:21:10

    Taipei, April 1 (CNA) A spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense (MNA) denied Thursday that the country is developing mid-range missiles capable of hitting targets in mainland China.

    Dismissing as "groundless" a report carried in the latest issue of the London-based Jane's Missiles and Rockets magazine that Taiwan has a tentative plan to produce surface-to-surface missiles with an eye to attacking mainland China, MND spokesman Huang Shuey-sheng said offensive weapons are not an option for Taiwan, which employs a defense strategy of "deterring attacks with impregnable defenses."

    The magazine said in an unattributed story that Taiwan has a tentative plan to produce 30 mid-range and 120 short-range surface-to-surface missiles capable of hitting targets as far as 2,000 km and 1,000 km away, respectively, in response to the mounting missile threat from Beijing.

    Earlier this year, Minister of National Defense Tang Yiau-min said his ministry is building a low-level missile defense system, with two-thirds of the missiles used being produced domestically.

(By Maubo Chang)

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