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Taiwan monitoring China's new satellite navigation system: MND

ROC Central News Agency

2011/12/29 18:08:06

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) Taiwan is closely monitoring the development of China's new satellite-based navigation system and will take responsive measures amid concerns over a possible security threat, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Thursday.

"We're keeping a close eye on aviation developments in China, such as the Beidou satellite-based system," Luo Shou-he, MND spokesman, told CNA two days after a trial run of the navigation system began.

The MND will actively respond to any threats to Taiwan posed by the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, Luo said, but did not elaborate.

China's activation of the Beidou system has raised concerns among some defense experts in Taiwan.

"This type of global positioning system will enhance China's precision attack capabilities," said Arthur Ding, a professor of international relations at National Chengchi University.

On Dec. 27, the system commenced initial positioning, navigation and timing for China and neighboring areas. Like other global positioning systems, Beidou is intended for both commercial and military use, Chinese officials said.

Beidou is expected to provide a regional service in the Asian Pacific region next year, and the navigation system will cover the whole world by 2020, Chinese officials said.

The system would enhance the tracking abilities of the Chinese army by 100 to 1,000 times and cut down on military spending, according to Chinese media reports.

In the face of possible security threats posed by the Chinese system, Ding recommended that Taiwan's defense ministry develop counterattack technology to disrupt the Beidou system.

As part of efforts to strengthen Taiwan's air defense, an ongoing military upgrade project at the country's airports will be completed by the end of 2012.

The Tienwu No. 7 project, launched in 2008, is scheduled to be completed next year. Both the software and hardware of the current Tienping (Skyguard) system, which has been in service for more than two decades, are being upgraded, military sources said.

The upgrade includes the deployment of the 35 mm AA Twin Gun GDF-006 Ahead, which is a weapon for short range air defense against manned aircraft such as fighters, bombers and helicopters and against unmanned aerial targets, in particular drones, cruise missiles, dispensers, guided missiles and guided bombs. (By Elaine Hou) ENDITEM/ pc

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