Newspaper article China Post

Taiwan's Security Problem Must Be Resolved Politically

Newspaper article China Post

Taiwan's Security Problem Must Be Resolved Politically

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: [...] denotes non-USASCII text omitted)

The military power balance across the Taiwan Strait has been tipped sharply in favor of the People's Republic of China over the past couple of years. No Chinese Communist military aircraft dared venture out of shore after the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958. Years later, they came out and then started patrolling on their side of the middle line in the strait. Now, they are flying past the line on patrol missions around Taiwan. Last Saturday, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) even posted a photo on its microblog allegedly showing a Xian H-6K jet bomber flying within visible range of Jade Mountain or Mount Morrison, which was known as Niitakayama ([...]) while Taiwan was a Japanese colony.

It isn't a kind of inspection by the Goddess of the Seas of her domain, which is a popular annual event of Taiwan's Matsu ([...]) worshippers. It concerns the strategic interaction among Taiwan, Japan and the United States.

Assigned to the patrol are combat-control electronic aircraft, bombers and Russian-made Sukhoi fighters. The PLAAF has more than enough combat power to attack Taiwan. It's not just a prophetic warning but a serious challenge to the joint containment of China by the United States, Japan and Taiwan as well. If the number of intruding Chinese warplanes is 10 or 20 times as large, Taiwan will completely lose its defensive air supremacy. In modern warfare, air supremacy is the key to victory. Should the Chinese have it, their warplanes could attack Taiwan from all sides. Moreover, their warplanes are ones of the advanced second-and-a-half to third generation, which are much better than what Taiwan has, while greatly outnumbering those older ones of ours. The result is clear: We would be bound to lose air battles, large or small. That means Taiwan's army and navy would fall like dominos in no time if war were to break out across the strait.

Can Taiwan make warplanes and warships to tip the balance of power in its favor? It's a dream that won't ever come true. Can we buy fourth generation F22s or F35s from Uncle Sam? Any one of them cost US$350 million, and we don't have that much money to buy just a couple of squadrons of them. …

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