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Taiwan prioritising development of long-range, precision-strike capabilities

Taiwan has begun series-production of a new land-based, long-range missile system and is developing three other unspecified long-range weapon systems, Leng Chin-hsu, deputy director of the state-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), told the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan’s Parliament) on 25 March.

However, Leng did not provide further details on the new land-based system, telling members of parliament during a session on the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) that this information is sensitive and “not convenient to disclose”.

That same day, Minister of National Defence Chiu Kuo-cheng told the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that Taipei will prioritise investment in the development and acquisition of “long-range, accurate, and mobile” strike capabilities, pointing out that research on such weapon systems has “never stopped”.

According to Taiwan’s Central National Agency (CNA), the QDR notes that enhancing Taiwan’s far-strike capabilities is essential to defend the island from a potential Chinese invasion. Citing the QDR, the CNA noted that Taiwan will continue to adopt a “resolute defence and multi-domain deterrence” tactic focused on defending its forces and annihilating the enemy near the coastline before they make landfall on the island.

Facing Beijing's growing military strength, Taiwan's asymmetric systems must be “small, mobile, stealthy, and numerous for strategic dispersion, taking advantage of the deployment of anti-ship missiles in coastal areas, rapid reaction forces, and mine-laying at sea”, reported the agency.

The latest developments come as the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen seeks to further deepen ties with the United States amid increasing tensions between Beijing and Taipei over the status of Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.

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