Taiwan’s covert extended-range missile poses limited threat to Chinese mainland


The missile “can be easily detected, tracked, monitored by modern, sensitive and precise anti-air radar systems”, the article said.

It also claimed the Taiwanese military had limited capabilities in reconnaissance and midcourse missile guidance, which would make the Hsiung Sheng less precise and more prone to interference.
Beijing, which considers Taiwan a province that must be reunited with mainland China, has never renounced the use of force to take the self-ruled island. Most countries do not see Taiwan as an independent state, but many, including the United States, oppose any attempt by Beijing to take it by force.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the mainland’s armed forces, has staged major exercises around Taiwan in recent years, and regularly sends warplanes and military ships on missions near the island.

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The article’s author, who writes under the name “Yi Qing”, also said the Hsiung Sheng missile was operated by the 791 Brigade based in Taoyuan and New Taipei City. The Taiwanese air force’s air defence and missile command had previously posted photos on Facebook showing the brigade’s troops holding their insignia, which features a cruise missile.

The photos have since been taken down.

The South China Morning Post has not been able to verify the claims in the article.

In August, Taiwanese newspaper United Daily News published a video of a missile test that it said involved the Hsiung Sheng. The Taiwanese military has declined to confirm which missile was tested.

In a report to Taiwan’s legislature in 2022, the island’s defence ministry said the missile could carry two warheads – a high-explosive one to target command centres and shelters, and a dispersal warhead that can attack airfields.

Little else is known about the missile beyond Taiwanese media reports citing unnamed sources. The Taiwanese government did not publicly acknowledge the existence of the missile until the report was submitted.

03:02

Taiwan’s defence expo returns after 4-year hiatus, with US firms attending for the 1st time

Taiwan’s defence expo returns after 4-year hiatus, with US firms attending for the 1st time

Taipei had requested special defence funding from 2022 to 2026 to improve its combat capability in the air and at sea. In that special budget, NT$16.9 billion (US$548 million) was earmarked for the Hsiung Sheng programme.

Taiwan has structured its military strategy around asymmetric warfare, which can allow the weaker side in a war to fight and win against a more capable enemy, which in Taiwan’s case is the PLA.

Taiwan’s 2023 national defence report said military retaliation was one of the ways to weaken an enemy’s offence and frustrate an attack on the island. It said missiles such as the Hsiung Sheng were the “main weapons” for retaliatory combat.

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The Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan. In 1949, it prevailed over the ruling nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) party in the Chinese civil war and founded the People’s Republic of China. The KMT then fled to Taiwan.

The KMT ruled Taiwan until democratic reforms in the 1990s brought peaceful transitions of power between political parties, including the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party.



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