China gearing up to attack Taiwan by 2020—gov’t report
China has continued to enhance its combat capabilities to be ready to launch a full-scale military attack on Taiwan by 2020 despite warming cross-strait ties, said a defense report released by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) Tuesday.
Beijing has never renounced the use of force against Taiwan to prevent it from declaring independence, despite thawing cross-strait ties, the report said.
Over the past years, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been actively engaged in modernizing its armed forces by deploying new weapons to ramp up its combat capabilities needed to launch an all-out attack on Taiwan by 2020, said the 2015 National Defense Report released by the MND Tuesday.
Asked to elaborate, Maj. Gen. Wang Shao-hua of the MND told a news briefing that the 2020 goal was set by the PLA.
“All available information has shown that the Chinese authorities have been making preparations to reach the goal on time and their main target is still Taiwan,” Wang said.
According to the latest report, China has earmarked US$145 billion for its defense budget in 2015, a 10-percent rise in comparison with the same number in 2014.
The budget will be used to upgrade and modernize its existing weapon systems, offer a better salary to its soldiers and make adjustments to troop deployment, the paper said.
In view of China’s growing threat, the Republic of China Armed Forces has continued to develop weapon systems to boost its combat readiness in the face of a rising Chinese threat over the past years, showing its resolution to defend itself, the report said.
The US has also provided Taiwan with more than US$18 billion in defensive weapons systems since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, including sales of AH-64E Apache helicopters, P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft and the PAC-3 missile system, it noted.
The MND also said it will continue to push the military transformation in the hope to meet the planned goal to become an all-volunteer force by 2017.
The defense report has been released every two years since 1992, according to the MND.
Comic edition and board game
A comic version of the national defense report was also released Tuesday, as part of efforts to cultivate interest in military service among young readers, said the MND.
An English version of the report is scheduled to be released later this month.
It is also the first time the MND biannual paper has come with a board game, which is aimed at promoting awareness among the younger generations of Taiwanese about the R.O.C.’s national defense.
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