A new report by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry says China has increased the number of cruise and ballistic missiles pointed at the island nation by more than 200 missiles. China also has added new medium-range DF-16 missiles to the more than 1,600 missiles now targeting the democratically ruled state 100 miles from the communist mainland.
The annual 2012 China Military Power Report released in Taipei this week said a small number of DF-16s were added to the hundreds of mobile, short-range DF-11 and DF-15 missiles within range of the island.
China has been building up its missile forces against Taiwan for at least the past 15 years, and the missile buildup is rarely mentioned by U.S. officials, who likely fear raising the issue will upset China’s military.
The report, first reported by the Taipei Times on Tuesday, also said China has deployed its aircraft carrier-killing DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile that can overcome the difficult technical challenge of flying ballistically in space and having enough accuracy to hit a ship at sea hundreds of miles away.
The Taiwan government report contrasts with the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on the Chinese military, which stated that as of October 2011, China had deployed between 1,000 and 1,200 short-range missiles near Taiwan. It made no mention of the new DF-16 medium-range missile deployments.
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Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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