China plans to attain strategic nuclear capabilities by 2020: MND
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) China is planning to attain strategic nuclear capabilities that can counter other nuclear powers and protect its territory by 2020, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense's (MND's) latest assessment on the country's military power.
Aside from that, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) also aimed to achieve a goal of "nuclear-space integrated capability" in 2050 to satisfy its strategic needs of "preventing independence movements, resisting hegemony, and stabilizing its borders," the MND said, quoting its 2019 report on China's military power, released on Friday.
Nuclear-space integrated capability refers to the application of space technology to enhance the accuracy of a nuclear weapon, a military officer explained.
China has been deploying new attack helicopters, armored vehicles and various missiles in recent years and its first self-made aircraft carrier is set to be commissioned within the year, the MND said.
It added that Taiwan faces increasing threats from China as Beijing has refused to renounce its goal of taking over Taiwan militarily if necessary, and continued to deny its status as a political entity.
Aside from that, China's has been intimidating Taiwan more blatantly, as demonstrated in its warplane's attempt to cross the median line of the Taiwan Strait earlier this year, and its military drills and long-distance naval training in the region, it said.
China's intention is to heighten its military coercion against Taiwan by "turning rare and isolated incidents into routine ones," ensuring its operational advantages in the process, the MND said.
Beijing also plans to complete its military preparations, including joint military coercion, Joint Interdiction, joint fire support and joint landing, against Taiwan in 2020, adopting the concept of a quick war with high efficiency and fewer casualties, the MND said.
However, the MND said China does not have the ability to initiate a full-scale attack against Taiwan at present due to the natural environment across the Taiwan Strait and its lack of landing gears and logistics capability.
Although China is increasing its frequency and scale of landing drills, the PLA only has the ability to attack Taiwan's outlying islands, the MND further said.
Meanwhile, the MND submitted its 2019 budget to the Legislative Yuan on Friday, in which NT$40.52 billion (US$ 1.28 billion) is for the planned purchase of 108 M1A2T Abrams Tanks and relevant equipment and support from the U.S.
The proposed MlA2 tanks deal, which could be sealed within this year, will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan's main battle tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future regional threats, according to U.S.'s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
(By Emerson Lim)
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