TAIPEI --- For the first time, the Republic of China (Taiwan) publicly admitted it has a missile that can hit bases and installations of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) inside mainland Chinese territory across the Taiwan Strait, which is 220 km at its widest and 130 km at its narrowest.
Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan told the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan's Parliament) the Republic of China Armed Forces (ROCAF) has the ability to launch missiles deep into Chinese territory, an eye-popping assertion considering what's known about ROCAF's land attack cruise missiles.
Taiwan media quoted ministry officials as claiming Taiwan can fire missiles at PLA bases 1,000 km away. Should this claim be accurate, it means most PLA military bases geared towards an amphibious invasion of Taiwan are within range of this missile, most probably the Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E) land attack cruise missile.
Armed with a standard unitary high-explosive 450 kg warhead, the HF-2E can smash targets 700 km away. The closest PLA base is 240 km distant, while the farthest is some 1,300 km out.
"It is the first time the ministry has confirmed this," commented member of parliament Wang Ting-yu.
Lt. Gen. Chiang Chen-chung, director of the Office for Operations and Planning for the Ministry of National Defense, said ROCAF does indeed have the capability to launch a missile counterattack against China.
"We do have the capability and we are continuing to reinforce such capability," said Gen. Chiang.
He revealed ROCAF can also attack PLA bases directing operations against Taiwan some 1,300 km distant.
The Quadrennial Defense Report (QDR) submitted to Parliament affirmed Taiwan's strategy of "double-level deterrence," which the defense ministry defines as a strategy of not just defense, but of rapid response to prevent an invasion.
"Should the enemy insist on invading, we will weaken their capabilities by striking enemy troops at their home bases, fighting them at sea, crushing them as they approach the coastlines and wiping them out on the beaches," noted the QDR.