Taiwan Livid After China Secretly Installs Cruise Missiles On Contested Spratly Islands

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Tensions continue to flare up in the South China Sea, as Beijing has reportedly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three outposts in the region, as reported by CNBC on Wednesday, which cited sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports. The missiles have reportedly been installed on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef.

The land-based anti-ship cruise missiles, designated as YJ-12B, allow China to strike surface vessels within 295 nautical miles of the reefs. Meanwhile, the long-range surface-to-air missiles designated as HQ-9B, have an expected range of targeting aircraft, drones and cruise missiles within 160 nautical miles. –CNBC

As we’ve documented again and again (and again and again), China’s military buildup in the Pacific, particularly surrounding the Spratly Islands, a collection of small islands, cays and atolls in the South China Sea, is one of the greatest long-term risks to peace and stability in the US and many of China’s neighbors, who have territorial claims in the region that may conflict with China’s. Continue reading

Taiwan “Won’t Bow Down To China Pressure”; Plans To Purchase 108 US Abrams Tanks

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Taiwan “will not bow down to pressure from Beijing” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says, but “will work with friendly nations to uphold regional peace and stability and ensure our rightful place in the international community.”

His exclamation came after news that the Dominican Republic had broken ties with Taipei and established formal relations with Beijing, expressing “deep regret” that the Dominican Republic had “set aside 77 years of partnership” in order “to accept deceptive promises of investment and aid from China.”

Taiwan’s presidential office also issued a statement criticizing the Chinese government for “exacerbating tension in the Taiwan Strait” just as international society was working to promote reconciliation and dialogue, “including in the Korean Peninsula.” Continue reading