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|Tuesday, August 28, 2001, updated at 07:45(GMT+8)|
Development of Long-range Attacking Capacity Reveals Splitlist AmbitionAccording to news from Taipei August 22, Taiwan Central University is scheduled to launch a space detecting rocket in southern Taiwan Island in mid-September. This will be Taiwan's first launch of a space rocket. However, Taiwan's development and launch of rockets aims not only at scientific experiment, but also contains the intention of developing long-distance projecting vehicles, and launching specific satellites.
The space rocket detector set to be launched in September is a two-section, four tail-fin rocket, around 4-5 meters long and 30-40 cm in diameter, it uses solid fuel, and is developed by the Taiwan Chongshan Research Institute. The rocket is capable of propelling the test object to the space 80-140 km above the ground.
Shortening the Time for Taiwan's Development of Medium- and Long-range MissilesThe "Tsing Feng" ground-to-ground missile Taiwan developed in the 70s eventually was not put into batch production and deployed because it had only a range of 100 km. The main reason for the short range of the satellite was the lagging of the rocket driving technology. Beginning in the early 80s, on the basis of "Tien Kung" (Sky Bow) and "Hsiung Feng" missiles, Taiwan stealthily developed rocket motivation range-adding technology and proceeded to develop medium- and long-range ground-to-ground missiles.
Sources say that Taiwan is developing medium-range ground-to-ground ballistic missiles with a firing range of 1,000-2,000 km. After nearly two years of research, Taiwan has already had the ability to manufacture medium-range ground-to-ground missiles.
However, due to the limitation of technical force and financial funds, Taiwan's progress in rocket range-adding technology goes rather slow. In an effort to accelerate the development and deployment of medium- and long-range missiles, the Taiwan authorities have instructed the aviation, space and remote-metering institute under Taiwan Central University to sign a space science research cooperation agreement with an American university in South Carolina in 1999. After two years of research, with US technical help, Taiwan has decided to launch a space rocket in mid-September, which will shorten the time for Taiwan's development and deployment of medium- and long-range missile.
Attempting to Send Military Satellite into SpaceTaiwan tries its utmost to develop medium- and long-range carrier rockets which militarily, besides being used in long-distance projecting weapons, have another important attempt to launch military satellites. The "satellite-launching program" worked out by Taiwan in 1989 included the development of carrier rockets, the planned rocket is capable of launching satellites and serving as medium- and long-range missile carriers.
In January 1999, the "China Satellite-1" developed by Taiwan was sent into the space of US Florida State. The "China Satellite-2" and the "China Satellite-3" have also been planned to be launched into space in 2002 and 2004. However, Taiwan's projected satellites were and would be launched by foreign carrier rockets. Taiwan's lack of long-distance means of delivery not only greatly prolongs satellite launching time, but also prevents it from flagrantly developing military satellites. In order to rid themselves of this situation, the Taiwan authorities are developing large-power, long-distance rockets. The planned emission of space rocket in September will be an important test of Taiwan armed forces' development of long-range rockets and military satellites.
Taiwan Rockets Directed at the MainlandWhile nominally Taiwan launches space rocket to "carry out scientific experiment", it actually develops medium- and long-range missiles and military satellites, its ultimate target is directed at the mainland.
Undoubtedly, the space rocket detector Taiwan is about to launch will enable Taiwan's military forces to make a big breakthrough in their long-range combat capabilities. Currently, the missile weapons which equip Taiwan's armed forces are mostly short-distance operational weapons, however, with the support from the United States and other Western countries, the Taiwan authorities can use the following weapons to attack the mainland.
"Tien Kung" tactical missile. This is a short-range ground-to-ground missile, with the firing range of about 100 km. Currently, this missile is secretly deployed in Taiwan Island proper, if it is deployed in the forward positions of Jinmen (Quemoy) Island and Mazu Island, the military and civilian targets of the mainland's Xiamen, Fuzhou and other areas will be threatened.
F-16 fighter. This US-made advanced fighter plane can be used to attack the mainland's coastal and marine targets.
"Hsiung Feng-3" missile. It was test fired secretly this July, its firing range reached 500 km, with its speed doubling the velocity of sound. The Taiwan military claimed that the missile high-speed flight and long-distance firing capability suffice to threaten water targets in Zhejiang, Fujian and eastern Guangdong provinces, and to attack ships and installations in harbors of these areas.
"Hsiung Feng-2E is a kind of attacking continental medium-range cruise missile, with a firing range of about 1,000 km. Taiwan naval force' deployment of this type of missile will constitute threat to the interior areas of the mainland.
Taiwan plans to buy eight 209-type diesel-powered submarines. The United States has approved selling to Taiwan four "Kidd"-class missile destroyers, which are large war vessels of over -8,000-ton class warships. In purchasing these formidable giants, Taiwan obviously aims to carry out attack operations against the mainland.
Rocket Development Beset with DifficultiesAlthough Taiwan has possessed a variety of short-distance carrier rockets and has achieved some breakthrough in the development of medium-range rockets, generally speaking, the development of Taiwan's rocket and aviation industry still lags far behind that of the United States, Russia, France and the Chinese mainland, it is inferior even to that of India, Pakistan and Brazil.
There are various reasons behind Taiwan's lagging in the field of rocket development, but the most important reason lies in the fact that Taiwan people do not support the authorities' policy of using the development of medium- and long-range carrier rockets to intimidate the mainland.
It is the general views of various social circles at home and abroad that the more Taiwan tries to threaten the mainland, the more difficult it will be for Taiwan to defend its security. Because this will not only cause Taiwan's huge military spending to sink into a bottomless pit and seriously hold back Taiwan's economic development and the improvement of people's livelihood, but also will aggravate the tension in the relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits.
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