TAIPEI, Taiwan, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- China's military will reach the point by 2020 where it can attack Taiwan, defending against any country intervening, Taiwanese defense officials said Tuesday.
The Ministry of National Defense released its biennial report on the Chinese military threat, the official Central News Agency reported. The report said China has been modernizing its weaponry and by 2020 could launch an all-out attack on Taiwan.
China claims Taiwan while effectively allowing it to function as a separate state as long as it does not actually declare independence. Taiwan has no representation in the United Nations and few countries have formal diplomatic relations with it.
Cheang Yun-pung, head of the ministry's Department of Strategic Planning, said China's military development is aimed both at Taiwan and at a credible deterrent to the United States. He cited China's deployment of Dong Feng 21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, known as "aircraft carrier-killer" missiles, that could be used if the United States tried to intervene on Taiwan's behalf.