Taiwan to test-fire a missile that can hit China

This kind of thing seems to be in vogue at the moment.

Taiwan plans to test-fire a missile capable of hitting China, alarming the island’s main ally, the United States, a cable news network said on Thursday.

The Hsiung Feng III, developed by Taiwan’s Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of 600 km (360 miles) and is accurate to within half a meter, the online edition of cable news network ETTV (http://www.ettoday.com) said, quoting unnamed military sources.

That range would put areas along China’s coast from Fuzhou in Fujian Province to Nan’ao in Guangdong within striking distance of the missile, the Web site said. A defense ministry spokesman declined to comment on the report when reached by telephone. A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry also declined to comment.

China, which has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since their split in 1949 at the end of the Chinese civil war, has deployed nearly 800 short-range ballistic missiles aimed at the self-ruled island in case it formally declares independence.

Taiwan successfully test-fired the missile last year, local media have reported, and the Web site said the next test was planned for September.

This post is for readers’ information only – no time to opine. To my good friend in Fujian province, be sure to stock up on bottled water and duct tape.

Update: See Tigerhawk’s post on this for a fresh if extreme perspective; he says it’s cause for the US to “cut Taiwan loose.” (Tigerhawk pointed me to this story in a comment to the previous post; thanks.)

The Discussion: 19 Comments

Doh! I’ve said before that I support Taiwanese independence… But I don’t support Taiwanese stupidity! If Taiwan does something like this then my hope that China will be kicked out of the UN and have it’s seat moved back to Taiwan when China doesn’t do anything about NK will never be realized.

July 6, 2006 @ 7:11 am | Comment

Wait a minute. I think the report is wrong. the HF-III missile is NOT for land attack. It’s an anti-ship missile, designed to counter an invasion force.

What was tested last year was the HF-IIE, a land-attack missile.

The reporter really screwed up on this one.

July 6, 2006 @ 8:34 am | Comment

The Taiwanese are just jealous of the NorKs hogging the spotlight.

July 6, 2006 @ 11:53 am | Comment

Uhm… any anti-ship missile can be used to attack land targets; the United States used Harpoons to attack targets in Iraq during Gulf War I and II.

July 6, 2006 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

anit-ship my butt …

it reminds me of japan’s “self-defense” force with “defensive” F-15 Striking Eagles and “supply ship” chopper carriers.

And Taiwan is still waiting to get their 8 “defensive” attack subs from US.

July 6, 2006 @ 2:01 pm | Comment

t_co, tes, an anti-ship missile can used to attack land targets. However there would be no point for Taiwan to do that, because it’s not likely the payload would do much damage. The entire reason the US has the Tomohawk is that an anti-ship missile is rarely useful against land targets these days.

Taiwan wants to survive. It’s not going to do that by wasting precious resources making pretty explosions and small craters on the Chinese shore. It’s going to keep them against a possible invasion force.

Bing, are you with us in the real world, or have you forgotten that China operates DOZENS of submarines already? Or is China the only country that can have submarines?

If China doesn’t want Taiwan having weapons like this, it shouldn’t keep refusing to consider a de-militarised zone in the area. Sulking and making threats won’t change anything.

July 6, 2006 @ 2:51 pm | Comment

Hi, my name is Jessica. I am so mad. Nobody likes me. Nobody wants to play with me. So I post mean things on blogs, because everyone is so very mean to me!


July 6, 2006 @ 3:18 pm | Comment


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July 6, 2006 @ 7:38 pm | Comment

the formatting of the comments really sucks. All the posts visually run together. Need to use bold type or extra spacing at the end or something to visually separate the posts of one person from the posts of another.

July 6, 2006 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

I agree with Shenzhen Whitey.

July 6, 2006 @ 8:48 pm | Comment

The issue with North korea has to do with nukes and the potential of its delivery via their missles.

China shouldn’t care less about Taiwan’s missile, even if it could attack the mainland.
For Taiwan’s it’s all about deterrance. There’s only one side left in the Chinese civil war that’s still claiming sovereignty on the other. This little island can’t harm anybody, except the CCP’s pride.

July 6, 2006 @ 9:45 pm | Comment

*BEEP!* Boring CCP bigot detected: Bing.

Come on, try to be original. I swear we could compress MOST public statements by “Zhongguo” (said in a nauseatingly patriotic fashion) chest-beaters to only a few bits – they’re so very predictable!

I’ve often thought that the PRC should consider developing a kind of hypocrisy-powered energy generation system – this would easily solve their energy needs for…”1000 years”.

Perhaps you should step back for a minute and consider why it is okay for the PRC to possess any weapons it likes, whilst it is somehow incomprehsible for Taiwan or Japan to do the same.

July 6, 2006 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

It would be a pretty useless missile if it wasn’t “capable of hitting China.”

Such missiles were invented and tested centuries ago!

This is a lot of nonsense about nothing!

(And yes! The comments format sucks!)

July 6, 2006 @ 11:57 pm | Comment

See, the problem with the HF-III is that it can carry a small nuclear warhead if taiwan ever decided to do that.


Also, any attack would most likely be targeted at C4I nodes along China’s shore, not explicitly civilian targets; but given that most of those nodes ARE combined with civilian targets (such as the military command building being in the same complex as the town hall) it would be kind of difficult to avoid civilian casualties.

Anyhow, I think the main problem here is that NKorea just tested a missile, so by Taiwan testing a missile, they legitimize NKorea’s move. Not good for both America and China. It’ll be funny to see how CSB gets punished by Bush for this move.

July 7, 2006 @ 11:38 am | Comment

If the story is true. I pointed that out to Tigerhawk. Taiwan’s media routinely make up and distort and exaggerate. So take the claim with a grain of salt. The Taipei Times reported yesterday that the MND is mum on the whole affair.


July 7, 2006 @ 4:34 pm | Comment

I agree about the comment formatting. Unfortunately, I no longer have an IT helper and I’m too nervous about my IT skillos to go into the template and alter the code.

July 7, 2006 @ 7:35 pm | Comment

it reminds me of japan’s “self-defense” force with “defensive” F-15 Striking Eagles and “supply ship” chopper carriers.


Why is it that woeful ignorance on military matters is no deterrent to armchair Napoleans.

The Japanese F-15s are absolutely for defensive purposes. Since the Japanese lack aircraft carriers and long range in-air-refueling capability, it is simply currently impossible for the Japanese to effectively use them offensively.

As for the helicopter carriers, these are intended (and useful only) for defensive (primarily anti-submarine) operations in or near Japanese waters. These vessels would be useless at projecting power and would be sitting ducks were they to stray beyond the air cover provided land based Japanese fighters (whose limited range is noted above).

The Japanese do possess some offensive capabilities, but the weapons sytems cited by Bing ain’t among them.

July 7, 2006 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

I know those Kongo class destroyers, the most advanced missile destroyers in the Pacific, are such defensively oriented weapons… I mean, how else do you explain the dozens of Harpoons and Tomahawks each carries???

July 10, 2006 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

There are lots of questions like “Why is it ok for China to have missile, but when Taiwan has it it’s a big deal?”, such as “why is it ok for the US and Russia to have so many nukes, but not north korea or iran?”

There is no answer to those questions. The truth is, even though everyone speaks of “World peace”, “justice”, “human rights” and ect. stuff when in public, it’s actually the self interest that’s truly driving world politics.

August 25, 2006 @ 2:59 pm | Comment

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