JAPAN, TAIWAN AGREE IN ASSESSMENT OF CHINA'S MILITARY STRENGTH
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 2 (CNA) Japan's prediction that China will begin to prevail against Taiwan militarily from 2006 unless Taiwan engages in an aggressive military build-up is in full agreement with a forecast by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) , a ministry official said Tuesday.
Japan's prediction, carried in its 2005 National Defense White Paper, was published earlier that day in Tokyo.
The defense official, who asked to remain anonymous, said the MND has predicted that the military balance across the Taiwan Strait will begin to tilt in favor of China from 2006.
Citing an analysis conducted by the ministry, the official said the military imbalance between China and Taiwan will worsen to 1.46 to 1 in terms of combat power by 2012 even if the navy acquires much-needed Kidd-class destroyers.
Unless Taiwan builds up its military strength, this trend will continue until the gap between the two sides widens to 2.8 to 1, which will be really dangerous because it is widely believed that the offensive force is sure to win in an engagement when it commands a superior force ratio of 3 to 1 against the defense force.
In order to slow down the declining trend, the official said, the MND is trying to acquire NT$480 billion-worth of arms from the United States that will keep the power ratio between China and Taiwan at 1.67 to 1 between 2020 and 2035.
By keeping that ratio, China would not dare to embark on a military adventure against Taiwan because according to this theory, the offense will not succeed in an attack-to-seize operation with a force ratio below 2 to 1 and might suffer heavy losses.
The official said that is why Defense Minister Lee Jye claimed in the legislature that the proposed arms purchase will secure 30 years of peace for Taiwan.
He said his ministry is not surprised by Japan's prediction, but added that Taiwan is not the only country threatened by China's military buildup. All of China's neighbors should worry about China's exploding military spending, he said.
(By Maubo Chang)
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