Taiwan defense minister says China missiles pose threat

By Elizabeth Shim  |  March 20, 2017 at 7:41 AM
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March 20 (UPI) -- China's latest midrange rocket targets Taiwan, Taipei's defense minister said Monday.

Feng Shih-kuan said China's latest intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Dongfeng or DF-16, poses a threat to Taipei, according to the Central News Agency of Taiwan and The China Post.

Feng made the remarks when he met with Taiwan's legislative foreign affairs and defense committees.

The defense minister said China's strategic and tactical missile forces had deployed DF-16s, and the rockets show improvements, according to the press reports.

The statement marks the first time a Taiwanese government official has made public a hunch Beijing's midrange missiles are being deployed as a warning to Taipei.

Feng said he plans to gather more information through reconnaissance and surveillance and that the Patriot Advanced Capability or PAC-3 interceptor would be deployed if any hostile behavior is detected.

Taiwan may also be considering the acquisition of a comprehensive weapons package from the United States, according to the report.

Tensions between Taiwan and China escalated in 2016, after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen exchanged a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump.

China does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state.

In December, Feng also warned of increased threats from China after Beijing's first aircraft carrier was detected sailing across the East China Sea.

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