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China can 'paralyze' Taiwan's defenses, threat worsening: Ministry of National Defense

2021 annual report shows threat from Chinese military has dramatically increased since last year

DF-17 on parade in Beijing. (PLA photo)

DF-17 on parade in Beijing. (PLA photo)

(Taiwan News) — China's military can "paralyze" Taiwan's defenses and can fully monitor its movements, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a report released on Tuesday (Aug. 31), an alarming assessment of the growing threat posed by the superpower, according to a CNA report.

The MND presented a far graver view than it did last year, when the annual report said China still lacked the capacity to successfully launch an invasion of Taiwan, according to a Reuters review of the document.

The ministry said China can spring "soft and hard electronic attacks" on Taiwan that jam communication systems across its west coast and down the whole first island chain — the string running from the Okinawan islands through Taiwan and down to the Philippines.

"[China] can combine with its internet army to launch wired and wireless attacks against the global internet, which would initially paralyze our air defenses, command of the sea, and counter-attack system abilities, presenting a huge threat to us,” it stated.

China’s own GPS navigation system, Beidou, gives it all new reconnaissance capabilities, the ministry added, allowing the Pepole's Liberation Army (PLA) to monitor movements around Taiwan.

Precision missile attacks could hit any target in the nation, so that China could "paralyze" Taiwan by hitting its command centers as well as naval and air force bases, the MND said. The report noted that China still lacks transport and logistical capacity for a large-scale operation, yet the PLA is working hard to bridge this gap.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has prioritized Taiwan's defense through a build-up of its domestic defense industry and by buying more weapons from the U.S — the country’s biggest arms supplier and international backer.

China's defense ministry did not respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Updated : 2021-09-23 23:58 GMT+08:00