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Yunlin County council members oppose Taiwan's Harpoon missile base plans

Yunlin council members say base in Huwei would threaten residents' safety

Land-based Harpoon missile launcher. (U.S. Naval Institute photo)

Land-based Harpoon missile launcher. (U.S. Naval Institute photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Members of the Yunlin County Council raised concerns during a council meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 7) about the Ministry of National Defense's (MND) plans to build a Harpoon missile base in Huwei Township.

Among the six new Harpoon missile bases planned by the military, one in Huwei and two in Pingtung were designated as priority bases, CNA reported.

County Councilors Lee Ming-che (李明哲) and Huang Wen-hsiang (黃文祥) opposed the plan, pointing out that Huwei is in the heart of Yunlin and is a host to several construction projects already underway, including the National Taiwan University Hospital’s Yunlin branch, a glove puppetry learning center, and an elderly welfare and medical health center.

Since Harpoon missiles are offensive military facilities and the location of the planned base is adjacent to the high-speed rail station, the councilors called on the county government to oppose the base and urged the MND to consider the local development and safety of residents. Yunlin County Magistrate Chang Li-shan (張麗善) said the township is not suitable for the base.

However, County Councilor Tsai Yong-fu (蔡永富) said the establishment of the Harpoon missile base is a matter of national defense, involving strategic considerations, and is not a decision that local representatives can make.

Taiwan is set to purchase as many as 400 Harpoon missiles to bolster its coastal defense.