Home > China, Taiwan > China Seen Deploying New Ballistic Missile Unit Close to Taiwan

China Seen Deploying New Ballistic Missile Unit Close to Taiwan

May 27, 2011


Here is another article of interest published in April.

Taiwan’s intelligence head on Thursday asserted China had fielded an additional ballistic missile unit not far from the self-governing island, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, April 6).

“The unit, carrying the code number 96166 and based in Guangdong province [in southern China], is indeed a new unit, probably a new ballistic missile brigade,” National Security Bureau chief Tsai Teh-sheng said, without offering further specifics.

“Over the past few years, the People’s Liberation Army has kept increasing its deployment of ballistic missile units in both quantity and quality opposite Taiwan,” Tsai said in remarks passed along by lawmaker Lin Yu-fang.

Taiwanese analysts project that Beijing at present has in excess of 1,600 missiles targeting the island that it claims as Chinese territory. The majority of those weapons are thought to be fielded in Jiangxi and Fuijan provinces in the southeastern part of the country. Experts predict that as many as 1,800 missiles could be aimed at Taiwan in 2012, AFP reported.

China’s robust rail system has allowed it to rapidly transport missiles to coastal regions when required. Some missiles can even be fired from railway trains, according to Lin, who is also a military affairs professor.

China’s top military official last week seemingly denied that any missiles were aimed at Taiwan. Beijing, though, has said it could take military action should Taipei seek full autonomy (see GSN, May 19; Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, May 26).

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