Taiwan said for the first time publicly that it is capable of launching missiles at China, as the government on Thursday unveiled a major defence report warning of increased risk of Chinese invasion.
China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.
Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement.
Delivering the four-yearly report to parliament, defence minister Feng Shih-kuan replied “yes” when asked by a lawmaker whether Taiwan was capable of firing at mainland China.
“It is the first time the ministry has confirmed this,” lawmaker Wang Ting-yu told AFP, saying Taiwanese missiles may be able to travel more than 1,500 kilometres.
The ministry has said in the past that it has produced cruise missiles, but has never publicly stated their capabilities.
The report also pledged to create an enhanced military front that would protect Taiwan.
“Should the enemy insist on invading, we will weaken their capabilities by striking enemy troops at their home bases, fighting them at sea, crushing them as they approach the coastlines and wiping them out on the beaches,” it said.
China has more than 1,500 missiles aimed at Taiwan, according to the defence ministry.
Full article: Taiwan says capable of strike against China (Sino Daily)