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17 décembre 2015 4 17 /12 /décembre /2015 08:35
USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) - photo US Navy

USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) - photo US Navy

 

16 décembre 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Les Etats-Unis veulent vendre à Taïwan pour 1,8 milliard de dollars d’armes, dont deux frégates, une décision qui ne remet pas en cause quatre décennies de la politique américaine d' »une seule Chine » mais qui a déjà provoqué la colère de Pékin.

 

Cet important contrat pour de multiples équipements de défense intervient dans un contexte de rapprochement entre la Chine communiste et l’île de Taïwan nationaliste séparées depuis 1949, mais aussi des inquiétudes de Washington qui accuse Pékin de « militariser » une partie de la mer de Chine.

 

Conformément à la procédure juridique habituelle américaine, « l’administration a notifié au Congrès aujourd’hui la vente d’un ensemble d’armes défensives à Taïwan pour 1,83 milliard de dollars », a annoncé à quelques journalistes au département d’Etat le porte-parole du bureau des affaires politico-militaires du ministère des Affaires étrangères, David McKeeby.

 

Cette requête formelle du gouvernement démocrate, en vue d’un feu vert sous 30 jours du Congrès républicain, comprend entre autres deux « frégates de type Perry, des missiles antichars, des véhicules amphibie » ainsi que divers systèmes électroniques de guidage et des « missiles sol-air Stinger », a détaillé le responsable américain.

 

Ces ventes d’armes à Taïwan, que les Etats-Unis, à l’instar de presque toute la communauté internationale, ne reconnaissent pas officiellement, sont « motivées par la Loi sur les Relations avec Taïwan (de 1979, Ndlr) et fondées sur une évaluation des besoins de Taïwan en matière de défense », a argumenté M. McKeeby.

 

Pour riposter par avance aux critiques, le département d’Etat et le Pentagone ont assuré que « la politique de longue date de ventes d’armes à Taïwan » a été le fait de « six administrations américaines différentes » depuis que les Etats-Unis se sont spectaculairement rapprochés de la Chine communiste au début des années 1970, sous la présidence du républicain Richard Nixon, avant d’établir des relations diplomatiques en 1979.

 

‘Une seule Chine’

 

La diplomatie américaine a d’ailleurs réaffirmé mercredi qu’il n’y avait « pas de changement à la politique de longue date d’une seule Chine », c’est-à-dire vis-à-vis de Pékin.

 

Pour autant cette semaine, alors que l’information sur les frégates avait filtré, la Chine avait manifesté sa « ferme opposition » et prévenu Taïwan du risque de mise en péril des relations entre les deux pays à l’histoire tumultueuse et séparés par le détroit de Taïwan. « La Chine exhorte avec force la partie américaine à prendre sérieusement conscience de l’extrême sensibilité et des graves dommages des ventes d’armes à Taïwan », avait martelé le porte-parole de la diplomatie chinoise, pressant l’Amérique d’y « mettre fin ».

 

Mais des deux côtés de l’échiquier politique aux Etats-Unis, on fait visiblement fi de la colère du rival chinois, deuxième puissance mondiale.

 

Le sénateur républicain et président de la commission des Forces armées, John McCain, a exprimé son « fort soutien » à une « nouvelle vague de ventes d’armes à Taïwan ». C’est « une décision qui correspond (…) à notre intérêt national à aider le gouvernement démocratique à Taipei pour qu’il préserve la stabilité de part et d’autre du détroit de Taïwan », a insisté le candidat républicain à la présidentielle de 2008.

 

Le représentant démocrate Eliot Engel a même regretté que la « dernière » vente d’armes à Taipei remonte à quatre ans: « Il ne faut pas que notre relation avec la République populaire de Chine (RPC) se fasse au détriment de notre amitié avec le peuple de Taïwan ou de notre implication pour la défense de Taïwan », a-t-il plaidé.

 

Pékin considère depuis 1949 Taïwan comme lui appartenant et n’a pas renoncé à la réunification, par la force si nécessaire. Les relations se sont toutefois apaisées avec l’élection en 2008 du président taïwanais Ma Ying-jeou. Ce dernier et le président chinois Xi Jinping ont tenu un sommet historique le 7 novembre. Il s’agissait de la première rencontre entre dirigeants des deux régimes depuis la proclamation par Mao Tsé-toung de la RPC en 1949, quand les nationalistes du Kuomintang s’étaient réfugiés à Taïwan.

 

Les Etats-Unis s’alarment aussi depuis des mois des ambitions territoriales maritimes de Pékin en mer de Chine méridionale et orientale. Elles alimentent des contentieux avec les voisins de la Chine en Asie orientale. Pékin a entrepris d’énormes opérations de remblaiement d’îlots, transformant des récifs coralliens en ports, pistes d’atterrissage et infrastructures diverses. Le secrétaire d’Etat John Kerry avait fustigé en août une « militarisation » entreprise par la Chine.

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19 juin 2015 5 19 /06 /juin /2015 07:35
Présence taiwanaise inédite au Salon du Bourget

Les systèmes de missiles développés par l’Institut national Chung-Shan des sciences et technologies au Salon du Bourget en France. CNA

 

17 juin 2015 taiwaninfo.nat.gov.tw

 

Après près de dix ans d’absence de cet évènement majeur de l’industrie aéronautique dans le monde, Taiwan est de nouveau présent au Salon du Bourget, qui se tient près de Paris jusqu’au 21 juin.

 

C’est surtout le retour d’Aerospace Industrial Development (AIDC) l’entreprise publique spécialisée dans la production de pièces pour l’industrie aéronautique. Privatisée l’année dernière, AIDC adopte désormais une stratégie commerciale plus agressive.

 

Selon Anson Liao [廖榮鑫], le Pdg de AIDC, l’entreprise est particulièrement bien positionnée grâce à la production de pièces détachées en matériaux composites permettant de réduire le poids de l’avion et de fabriquer des moteurs économes en carburant. « L’industrie mondiale du transport aérien devrait continuer à croître dans les 20 à 30 prochaines années, ce qui devrait offrir à AIDC de belles opportunités », a déclaré Anson Liao.

 

Cinquante-deux produits seront exposés par AIDC au Bourget cette année. Les moteurs, dont la qualité est louée par les partenaires de l’entreprise taiwanaise comme Rolls-Royce et General Electric, en font parties, ainsi que les pièces détachées en matériaux composites qui permettent d’alléger le poids des appareils, et utilisées par Airbus et Boeing. « Nous pouvons affirmer avec fierté que 90% des appareils volants aujourd’hui comportent des pièces de fabrication taiwanaise », a souligné Anson Liao.

 

Avec la transformation de l’entreprise, d’un équipementier (Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM) en un producteur de concepts d’origine (Original Design Manufacturer, ODM), AIDC a ainsi pu renforcer sa présence contractuelle dans la fabrication d’appareils, notamment dans le cadre d’une coopération d’importance avec le groupe japonais Mitsubishi Aircraft pour la fabrication d’un moyen-courrier qui devrait être commercialisé l’année prochaine.

 

Parmi les autres entreprises taiwanaises présentes au salon, l’Institut national Chung-Shan des sciences et technologies, fleuron de l’industrie militaire taiwanaise, expose 23 produits, dont les systèmes de missiles de croisière antinavire d’une portée de 300 km, Hsiung-feng III.

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29 janvier 2015 4 29 /01 /janvier /2015 13:35
Taiwan's air force demonstrates P-3C sub-hunting aircraft

 

29.01.2015 Pacific Sentinel
 

The ROC Air Force on Tuesday showcased the P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft of which the country is taking delivery from the United States, a move designed to highlight the military's high level of alertness and to strengthen its combat readiness ahead of the Lunar New Year break in February.

 

The drill was held at an air base in southern Taiwan's Pingtung county and included the participation of the 439th Combined Wing. Based at the Pingtung base, the wing is responsible for tactical airlifts, maritime search-and-rescue, patrols and anti-submarine missions.

 

During the drill, P-3C pilots demonstrated takeoff and also flew the aircraft at low altitude. Air Force ground crew later demonstrated the process of arming the planes with torpedoes.

 

It was the first time the Air Force had given the media a closer look at the P-3C.

 

Read the full story at Want China Times

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 18:35
Taiwan Army No. 904 UH-60M helicopter.

Taiwan Army No. 904 UH-60M helicopter.

 

January 17, 2015 21stcenturyasianarmsrace.com

 

After eight years of negotiations, Taiwan is finally getting its next-generation utility helicopters.

In December last year, the first four UH-60M Blackhawks for Taiwan’s special forces arrived in Kaohsiung Port.

An additional 56 UH-60M’s are being delivered until 2018 as replacements for Taiwan’s UH-1H Hueys. The deal is worth $3.1 billion.

This transaction is just the latter half of a major helicopter deal that has been in the works since 2002 during the administration of President George W. Bush. It originally included a 2002 request for 30 AH-64D Apaches and in 2005 Taiwan wanted “price and availability data” for 60 utility helicopters.

 

Read more

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18 décembre 2014 4 18 /12 /décembre /2014 17:35
Combat boat with missile (image : Militaryphotos)

Combat boat with missile (image : Militaryphotos)

 

18.12.2014 Defense Studies


MANILA (PNA) -- In a bid to improve its territorial sea interdiction capabilities, the Philippine Navy (PN) announced that it will be acquiring missile-armed MPACs (multi-purpose assault craft) to beef up its patrol force.

This was announced by PN vice commander Rear Admiral Caesar C. Taccad during Tuesday's briefing on modernization.

"It will be armed with stabilized weapon system with fire control complemented with a short to medium range missile system," he added.

The MPACs will be designed for territorial sea interdiction operations with maritime situational awareness and limited credible deterrence in the protection of the country's interest at the West Philippine Sea, Taccad stated

"And it may also be used for internal security operations and humanitarian assistance disaster response operations," he stressed.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that it is allocating Php270 million to acquire three missile-armed MPACs.

The money will be sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000.

The contract includes mission essential equipment.

Mission essential equipment includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system and seamanship and ship-handling gears.

The PN currently operates a force of six MPACs.

Three of the PN's MPACs are sourced from Taiwan while the remaining three were ordered from Filipino shipbuilder Propmech Corporation, which is based in Subic Bay, Zambales.

These ships are 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and has a draft of one meter and a top speed of 45 knots.

Each one costs around Php90 million. It has a range 300 nautical miles. The hull is made of high-quality aluminum and is crewed by one officer and four enlisted personnel. It is capable of carrying 16 fully-equipped troopers or two tons of cargo.

The MPAC is capable of operating in territorial waters up to "Sea State 3" (slight waves) without any system degradation. It is armed with one .50 caliber and two 7.62mm machine guns. 

(PNA)

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27 octobre 2014 1 27 /10 /octobre /2014 12:35
Pacific Powers Build Capability, Warily Eye Neighbor Countries

South Korean Sejong the Great class Destroyer

 

27 October 2014 By WENDELL MINNICK, JUNG SUNG-KI and NIGEL PITTAWAY

 

TAIPEI, SEOUL AND MELBOURNE — Ninety percent of the world’s trade flows by sea and the majority of that through narrow, vulnerable straits such as Malacca, Singapore and Taiwan. This has forced the Asia-Pacific region to outspend all other nations, except the US, in procurement of ships and submarines.

 

The dangers are real. Taiwan Adm. Chen Yeong-kang said regional territorial disputes could disrupt sea lines of communication (SLOC) in the region. The comments were made during the 2014 International Sea Lines of Communication Conference sponsored by the Taiwan Navy on Oct. 15.

 

“Any abrupt armed incident or mass military conflict is possible to impact the SLOC and endanger transport safety.”

 

Due to the tight thoroughfares of many of Asia’s straits and low depths of the South China Sea, many regional countries are procuring fast attack craft, corvettes and coast guard cutters, said Stanley Weeks, an adjunct professor at the US Naval War College. He expects navies and coast guards to procure more fixed-wing planes, including UAVs and refurbished P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft.

 

More P-3s will become available as the US begins retiring its fleet and procuring the new P-8 Poseidon.

 

Read the full story at DefenseNews

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4 octobre 2014 6 04 /10 /octobre /2014 16:35
Air Defense: Hawks Replaced By Sky Bow

 

October 4, 2014: Strategy Page

 

Taiwan recently announced the retirement (real soon) of its 19 Hawk anti-aircraft missile batteries and over 900 Hawk missiles. This is apparently a message to China to brace for more formidable air defense systems. Hawk is being replaced by the locally developed Sky Bow II system. For many countries, modern versions of Hawk get the job done for local threats and is an affordable (less than $300,000 per missile) solution for air-defense needs. But as the Chinese improve their ECM (Electronic Countermeasures), especially the ECM carried by their most modern fighters and bombers, Hawk has become less of an obstacle.  Sky Bow II, using a lot of licensed American technology has much better electronics and the missile weighs 1.2 tons and has a range of over 150 kilometers. There is also an anti-ballistic missile version (Sky Bow III) that is supposed to enter service in 2015. While there is a mobile version of Sky Bow II, many of the missiles are launched from underground silos, which are much better protected from attack. The mobile version uses a box like launcher containing four missiles in sealed containers. There is a radar and control system (in a truck or underground) for every four to eight launchers. Sky Bow I and II were introduced in the 1990s and Sky Bow I is being replaced by Sky Bow II.

 

Each Hawk battery has six towed launchers each carrying three of the 590 kg (1,290 pound) Hawk missiles plus a radar, control center and maintenance vehicles. In the last 60 year over 40,000 Hawk missiles were produced and bought by the nearly 30 countries that used (or still use) Hawk. While Hawk has been upgraded since it entered service in 1959, some countries have gone beyond that. Back in 2011, South Korea introduced a locally designed and produced Iron Hawk II anti-aircraft missile system. This replaced three existing U.S. Hawk missile battalions. Iron Hawk II is mobile, with the radar and launchers carried on trucks. Each launcher truck has six missiles in sealed storage/firing containers. The original Hawk did not use the container system. Hawk missiles have a max range of 40 kilometers and a max altitude of 15,000 meters (46,500 feet). The search radar (with a max range of 100 kilometers) guides missiles part of the way before the missiles' own guidance system takes over for the final approach. South Korea had help from Russia in developing the AESA search radar and the Iron Hawk missiles. Because the main military threat, North Korea, is right next to South Korea, Hawk range is not a big issue.

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30 septembre 2014 2 30 /09 /septembre /2014 11:35
Taïwan repense sa défense face à la Chine

 

30/09/2014 Par Patrick Saint-Paul, envoyé spécial à Taïpeh – LeFigaro.fr

 

Si les puissantes armées de Pékin attaquaient, Taïpeh devrait s'engager dans une guerre asymétrique.

 

Lâchée par ses alliés, confrontée à la montée en puissance et la modernisation à marche forcée de l'Armée populaire de libération (APL), Taïwan change sa doctrine militaire. Toujours considérée par Pékin comme une «île rebelle» qu'il n'exclue pas de reconquérir par la force, Taïpeh se prépare désormais à résister à une éventuelle invasion chinoise de façon asymétrique.

 

Suite de l’article

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12 août 2014 2 12 /08 /août /2014 07:35
The Secret Taiwan UAV Program

 

August 7, 2014: Strategy Page

 

Taiwan has been developing its own UAVs since the 1990s. With some help from the United States Taiwan began delivering modern models to the armed forces in 2011 (after a major boost in UAV funding in 2007). Taiwan has kept details secret although some information gets out when civilian versions of the military models are offered for export.

 

Taiwan is known to have several smaller UAVs, weighing under 20 kg (44 pounds). These are battery powered, have endurance of 60-90 minutes and an operator range of about ten kilometers. These are similar to the U.S. Raven and somewhat larger models that complement Raven (like Puma). There are also known to be larger UAVs, weighing up to several hundred kilograms (up to 500 pounds), with endurance of up to ten hours and payload of 50 kg (110 pounds). These are regularly use to patrol the Taiwan Strait and would be useful in wartime for spotting Chinese naval targets for Taiwanese anti-ship missiles. There is also at least one helicopter UAV (similar to the U.S. Navy Fire Scout) and a new one, still in development, that is similar to the U.S. Navy X-47B and able to carry over 500 kg (1,100 pounds) of weapons.

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11 août 2014 1 11 /08 /août /2014 11:35
US congressman supports Taiwan's RIMPAC bid, submarine plans

 

11 Aug 2014 Pacific Sentinel
 

The chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee said Thursday in Taipei that he supports Taiwan efforts to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC) and to obtain a transfer of US technology to build its own submarines.

 

"We have some influence and we will push to see that they (Taiwan's armed forces) are invited next time" to take part in RIMPAC, Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif) told CNA in an interview just before he and his congressional delegation wrapped up a two-day visit to Taiwan.

 

He said Taiwan's participation in the US-led RIMPAC, the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, will help build a stronger relationship between Taiwan and the United States.

 

McKeon said the issue was raised during his meetings with Taiwan's defense minister, Yen Ming, and the National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung.

 

RIMPAC 2014, held June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around Hawaii, marked the first time that China took part.

 

McKeon, who arrived in Taiwan Wednesday as part of a trip to East Asia, also met with President Ma Ying-jeou Thursday. During the meeting, Ma reiterated Taiwan's desire to have diesel-electric submarines to strengthen the country's defense capabilities.

 

Read the full story at Want China Times

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26 mai 2014 1 26 /05 /mai /2014 07:35
La frégate Prairial en patrouille dans le Pacifique

 

21/05/2014 Marine nationale

 

Après une patrouille dans le détroit de Formose et la rencontre à la mer de nombreuses unités militaires taïwanaise, chinoises, japonaise, et d’aéronefs militaires, la frégate de surveillance (FS) Prairial est arrivée le vendredi 16 mai au matin sur la base navale américaine d’Okinawa, île qui se situe dans l’extrême sud du Japon. Cette relâche opérationnelle avait deux objectifs: affirmer notre attachement aux dispositions prévues dans le cadre de l’United Nations Command (UNC) et entretenir les liens avec la marine américaine.

 

L’ Alouette III de la frégate a effectué deux vols à l’arrivée et au départ sous statut UNC. Ces dispositions qui datent de plus de 60 ans permettent à l’UNC de remonter rapidement en puissance si nécessaire. Les utiliser régulièrement est impératif.

 

L’ambassadeur de France au Japon, M. Christian Masset, s’est rendu à bord pour s’entretenir avec les autorités militaires américaines et de l’UNC présentes, dont le commandant des activités de la flotte d’Okinawa, le chef d’état-major des forces amphibies de la 7ème flotte et le commandant australien des bases arrière de l’UNC qui en comptent sept au Japon, dont trois à Okinawa.

 

Des échanges et des visites croisés ont eu lieu avec les membres du «46th squadron», flottille de patrouille maritime de P3-C Orion stationnés sur l’immense base de l’US Air Force de Kadena.

 

Le 19 mai, un ravitaillement à la mer a été réalisé de nuit avec le pétrolier ravitailleur américain Wally Schirra. Le deuxième ravitaillement du déploiement dans le Pacifique ouest avec un pétrolier ravitailleur américain. Une occasion de ravitailler mais également de se connaître et de préparer RIMPAC 2014, le plus grand exercice naval du monde, prévu à Hawaï en juillet avec 24 nations. Un entraînement est également mené le 20 mai avec un P3-C.

 

Cette escale s’inscrit dans le cadre du renforcement de la coopération de la Marine nationale avec les marines étrangères sur zone et l’affirmation de sa présence dans le Pacifique. Elle a permis, une fois de plus, d’échanger des informations dans cette zone stratégique en pleine expansion militaire - spécialement  navale - et d’accroître la confiance mutuelle face aux défis de sécurité et de stabilité en mer.

 

Des liens plus approfondis avec la marine japonaise sont prévus par ailleurs : le Prairial a effectué un entraînement avec la frégate Harusame avant son arrivée, s’entraînera avec un avion de patrouille maritime japonais, puis touchera bientôt deux ports dans l’île de Honshu.

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28 avril 2014 1 28 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Crash d’un hélicoptère Apache : la Défense de Taiwan annonce une commission d’enquête

Aucune perte humaine n 'est heuresement à déplorer dans cet accident, a noté le ministère de la Défense. CNA

 

 

Après l’accident d’un hélicoptère de combat de type AH-64E, survenu vendredi dernier dans le district de Taoyuan, au nord de Taiwan sans faire aucune victime, le ministère de la Défense a annoncé la mise en place d’une commission d’enquête.

 

Une erreur humaine, les conditions climatiques ou une défaillance technique, aucune de ces pistes n’est écartée, a-t-on déclaré vendredi dernier au ministère de la Défense, à l’annonce de la mise en place de la commission d’enquête destinée à élucider les circonstances qui ont provoqué l’atterrissage en catastrophe de l’hélicoptère sur un immeuble de trois étages dans la commune de Longtan. Les 17 autres Apache AH-64E de l’Armée de l’air sont maintenus au sol, a par ailleurs précisé la Défense. Ces appareils de combat ont été acquis auprès des Etats-Unis entre novembre 2013 et mars 2014, et font partie d’une commande de 30 hélicoptères d’un montant total de 2,01 milliards de dollars américains. La vente avait été annoncée en 2008 par le président des Etats-Unis de l’époque, George Bush. Le 13 mars 2013, les 18 Apache avaient vu leur système de transmission remplacé après un certain nombre de problèmes mécaniques constatés aux Etats-Unis sur le même type d’appareil.

Le major Chen Lung-chien [陳龍謙], instructeur de vol avec 1 247 heures de vol dont 350 sur cet hélicoptère, et son co-pilote, le lieutenant-colonel Liu Ming-hui [劉銘輝], avec 1034 heures de vol mais aucune sur ce type d’appareil, n’ont été que légèrement blessés dans cet accident. Quatre habitations ont été endommagées par la chute de l’hélicoptère.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
China: The Pundits Of War Are Unleashed

 

 

April 8, 2014: Strategy Page

 

China watched, and supported the recent Russian operation to take the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine with great interest. The land grab had a bracing effect on the other countries that, until 1991, were part of the ancient Russian Empire. The Crimean operation was the second such land grab Russia has undertaken in the last five years. The first was against tiny Georgia in 2008. Many of these former Russian subjects feel that the Russians are trying to get their empire back. Ask many Russians that question and most agree that it would be a nice thing. Some Russians are more outspoken and bluntly call for the empire to be reassembled no matter what.  Poland and the Baltic States managed to join NATO after the Cold War ended and are hoping that the mutual defense terms of the NATO alliance will dissuade Russia. Nevertheless all four, plus Finland, have increased their military readiness this year and are seeking assurances from the West that they will have help against Russia. Many Finns have called for Finland to join NATO, but a large minority has opposed this because of the fear it would anger the Russians. There was a similar division in Ukraine but now more Finns are thinking that NATO membership is preferable to trusting Russia to always behave. Even Sweden, never part of the Russian empire and successfully neutral since the early 19th century is thinking about joining NATO for protection from an increasingly aggressive Russia.

 

China sees an opportunity here. That’s because the former Soviet stans of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have another option; China. The stans have been very receptive to Chinese diplomatic and economic cooperation. This bothers Russia, but not to the extent that threats are being made, as was the case with the former imperial provinces to the west. The stans also have a problem with never having been democracies. When the Russians conquered them in the 19th century the local governments were monarchies or tribes. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, locals who were former Soviet officials held elections and manipulated the vote to get themselves elected "president for life." But many people in the Stans want clean government and democracy, as well as continued independence from Russia. China is no help with that because the Chinese prefer dictators. But China does offer more economic opportunities and protection from what happened ti Ukraine and Georgia.

 

Another reason for China to back Russia is the fact that China is also an empire trying to reclaim lost territories. That some of those territories are currently Russia’s Far East (areas bordering the Pacific) is not officially discussed in Russia or China but is no secret to many Russians and Chinese. That is a problem for another day as currently Russia and China support each other’s imperial ambitions (as in Ukraine and the South China Sea) and help each other out to deal with any associated problems, especially the UN or economic sanctions. China is also helping by putting economic pressure on Ukraine by suing Ukraine to cancel a $3 billion loan.  

 

Yet another reason China is watching this carefully is because China is violating an international maritime borders treaty it signed by claiming all of the South China Sea. What happens to Russia for violating the 1994 agreement to protect Ukrainian borders in return for Ukraine getting rid of its Cold War era nukes. Russia simply says the 1994 agreement does not apply and that attitude will influence what China does with its numerous offshore territorial disputes. Another problem with violating the 1994 agreement is the message it sends to states like Iran and North Korea. The message is that if you really want to keep invaders out you need nukes. Iranians believe the negotiations to limit Iranian nuclear research and development are an effort to block Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Most Iranians see nukes as a necessity for maintaining Iranian dominance in the region. Iran has been the regional superpower for thousands of years. Once you get a taste of superpower status, it’s a hard thing to put behind you.

 

Russia and China are using nationalism, in this case the promise of the restoration of lost imperial territories, to distract the population from the corruption and mismanagement of their government officials. This is an ancient political technique that depends on near-total control of information available to their populations. The Internet threatens that and this is a new risk for those planning to build and maintain an empire. That’s because empires are costly and inefficient. Britain realized that by the 1940s and that’s the main reason they got rid of theirs so quickly after 1945 and why the United States never took advantage of its power to create one. But the allure of empire remains, sort of as the ultimate luxury a state can indulge. Again, the Internet spreads the bad news about the real cause, and effect of empire. China tries to cope with this by concentrating on imperial ambitions (natural resource rights from the ownership of uninhabited rocks and reefs in the South China Sea and elsewhere off the coast) that have some practical appeal. When empires involve conquered people the cost goes way up, as the Chinese are rediscovering in their northwest (Turks) and southwest (Tibetans). A growing number of Russians and Chinese are aware of these angles and are not happy about it. But both Russia and China are still police states with state-controlled media. Holding anti-government opinions is dangerous, especially if you express these traitorous thoughts in public.

 

To expand their empire as cheaply as possible China is relying a bullying, not battles. So in the last year the Chinese Coast Guard has received over a dozen new patrol ships. These are vessels of from 1,000-3,000 tons displacement with relatively small crews but lots of storage space and not many weapons. Coast guard ships are not usually heavily armed but the Chinese ships are increasingly being seen equipped with water cannon, extra searchlights and equipment for grappling with other ships. These tools are used to interfere with foreign fishing ships and transports that go to parts of the South China Sea that China has declared Chinese territory (even though other nations have a stronger legal claim). Using water cannon, bright searchlights (to blind the crews of other ships) and aggressive maneuvering (to include grappling with smaller foreign ships and forcibly moving them) the foreign ships can be “persuaded” to back off. The Chinese coast guard vessels will also use these tactics against foreign warships and if the foreigners shoot back the Chinese can declare themselves the victims of an unprovoked attack and call in more fire power.

 

The Chinese are also preparing for the possibility that the victims of this bullying might shoot back. Thus it was not surprising that Chinese Army WZ-10 helicopter gunships have been seen practicing operating from LST type amphibious ships, which have a landing pad similar in size to that found on larger Coast Guard patrol ships. The seven ton Z-10 is smaller than the 10 ton American AH-64 and also has a crew of two. The Z-10 is armed with 30mm autocannon and can carry up to a ton of rockets or missiles. This gives China immediate backup if the Coast Guard harassment tactics fail and additional firepower is needed in a hurry. Then again, a helicopter gunship coming off the back of a Coast Guard cutter can be pretty scary if you aren’t expecting it.

 

China is carrying out its military buildup with Chinese made weapons. One benefit of that is that is provides yet another export. Over the last five years China has displaced France as the fourth largest arms exporter in the world. While Russia had a record year for arms exports in 2013, moving $13.2 billion worth of weapons, military equipment and defense services, those sales are increasingly threatened by more rapidly growing exports from China. Russian officials admitted that they did not expect to increase weapons sales over the next few years, largely because arms sales worldwide, both for export and domestic consumption is shrinking. Currently about half of Russian sales are aircraft (jets and helicopters) and 25 percent are anti-aircraft systems. Russia still gets orders because they are cheaper than Western stuff, and nearly as good. What the Russians were less willing to discuss was the growing competition from China.

 

Some areas of the Chinese military buildup are for protecting China from internal threats. Thus China is now training police to be hackers. Not just imparting defensive skills, but training selected cops to launch attacks. It’s unclear what this is for although it’s most likely related to the growing incidence of Internet based criminal activity inside China. Apparently several units of police Cyber War experts are being organized. Some will probably be dedicated to helping Chinese firms and local governments improve their network security, but at least one of these new organizations will have an offensive capability, probably for harassing groups perceived as internal (foreign or Chinese) enemies of China.

 

There are more serious internal threats that police hackers won’t help solve. China is suffering from some catastrophic long-term problems that gets little attention in the news but are nevertheless very real and unavoidable. For example, there are several disastrous demographic problems approaching. This began in the late 1970s when, to control population growth most couples were restricted to only one child. This has been widely enforced, to the point where the average number of children per couple has been 1.7. But many of those couples aborted a child if it was a female, because much more importance is attached to having a male heir. Thus there are 35 million more males than females, and the number is growing. These surplus males are coming of age, and the competition for wives is causing problems. Women are taking advantage of their scarcity, but men are also going to neighboring countries to buy, or even kidnap, young women to be wives. This is causing ill will with neighbors.

 

The biggest problem, though, is the growing shortage of workers. As the population ages, all those one child families means there will be more elderly than the economy can effectively support. Currently there are 11 working age Chinese for every retiree. By 2050, there will only be two for each retiree. At that point, retirees will comprise 30 percent of the population (versus 13 percent now.) Traditionally, children cared for their parents in multi-generation households. That model is dying out, and China is faced with huge pension cost increases at the same time they expect their economy to be the mightiest on the planet. But at that point, the largest single government expense will be the care of the elderly, and this will impose crushing taxes on those of working age. Many working age Chinese are worried about this, for there is no easy solution in sight. China can relax the one-child policy, which it is apparently doing, but the newly affluent Chinese are less eager than earlier generations to have a lot of kids. To make matters worse there is not much in the way of pensions or health care for most of the elderly to begin with. The government recognizes this is a real problem but does not, and will not have the cash to deal with it.

 

Then there is corruption, which has been a problem for thousands of years. The Chinese government continues to proclaim its aggressive efforts against corruption. In 2013 the government said that it investigated 150,000 corruption cases and recovered over $8 billion. Most Chinese still encounter corruption daily and don’t really get the impression that the government is making a serious dent in the problem. The bigger crooks still seem to get away with it while the little guys get punished. The anti-corruption effort is not the only government program that is underperforming. The Internet censors have failed to keep out all the bad news about the Chinese economy that the government would rather not be publicized. This is mainly about the faltering growth rate (down from ten percent or more to seven percent a year or less since 2008).

 

China also has problems with popular sentiments that contradict official policy. Case in point is the growing anger over pollution. This is the result of three decades of rapid economic growth and a culture of corruption that allowed the pollution to grow and the government to keep it out of the news. But eventually people noticed and have been increasingly open and direct in demanding some action to deal with it. So in late 2013 the government responded in a way no one expected; pollution data was declared public data and all government organizations and businesses were ordered to make their pollution data public. Not everyone is complying but given the growing boldness of angry citizens and availability of pollution monitoring equipment, any cheaters are vulnerable to getting caught and then exposed to a public shaming on the Internet. For commercial firms this can mean lost business. For government officials this can mean more scrutiny than corrupt bureaucrats are comfortable with. With this new openness policy the government is making itself less unpopular and harnessing the power of the anti-pollution groups (who represent most of the population) for a joint effort in dealing with the dirty air and water.

 

Senior Chinese leaders are becoming increasingly bold in dealing with popular discontent, aware that throughout Chinese history such discontent often led to popular uprisings that brought down dynasties and made life very unpleasant for those in charge. Many of the lower ranking bureaucrats are less concerned with this as they are more interested in stealing as much as they can while they have the opportunities. But if decisions at the top can make this more difficult to do, then there will be less corruption and bad behavior by officials. The most senior people are making moves like this because they understand that they do not “rule” China as much as they preside over a huge bureaucracy which resists unpopular orders and is more responsive when the senior leadership makes decisions that simply put more pressure on bureaucrats to behave.

 

The other item the government wants kept out of the news is the problem in the banking system and how decades of corruption there are catching up with the government ability to keep the plundering and manipulation from crippling the economy. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of zombie banks operating, that were essentially bankrupted by uncollectable debts (the corruption angle) that the government cannot cover for. There is also the property bubble, caused by all the building loans banks issued for stuff that is still unsold. This has caused growing downward pressure on property prices, which is lowering the net worth of a lot of Chinese. More and more Chinese (especially business owners and executives) are asking important questions about all this but the government would rather not discuss the issues.

 

The international financial community is getting nervous about the Chinese government’s ability to deal with this uniquely Chinese financial bubble. While in the West the usual bubble is one based on real estate or stock market speculation, in China there is a less well known bubble involving an unofficial banking system that provided loans to highly speculative (and often, by Chinese standards, illegal) undertakings. These “shadow banks” were also very corrupt, doling out bribes and fees to corrupt businesspeople and government officials. The problem is that all this off-the-books financial mischief has got its hooks into legitimate assets (as collateral or a source of cash to keep operating or expand). The number of bad loans (that are not, and probably never will be repaid) has been growing and that is threatening to reduce the cash the official banks have free to keep the economy going. If the government mishandles this mess the Chinese economy could suffer widespread bankruptcies and high unemployment. It could take several years to recover and during that time there could be a popular uprising. A dip in the Chinese economy (at $8 trillion second only to the American $14 trillion) would ripple throughout the global economy. It would be 2008 all over again, but possibly worse. So it’s not just China’s problem.

 

That economic growth has been good to the military. The Chinese defense budget increased again this year by over ten percent to $132 billion. Some U.S. intelligence analysts believe the real defense spending is now closer to $200 billion. Like other communist nations the Chinese keep a lot of military stuff outside the defense budget, so their actual defense spending is much higher. Official Chinese defense spending has more than doubled in the last decade. This has triggered an arms race with its neighbors. Russia is in the midst of a new military upgrade program that would increase defense spending by a third and devote over 700 billion dollars into the next decade to buying new equipment. Japan, already possessing the most modern armed forces in the region, is increasing spending to maintain their qualitative edge. A decade ago China and Japan spent about the same on defense, but now China spends more than three times as much. Even India is alarmed. Spending only a third of what China does, the Indian generals and admirals are demanding more money to cope. India and China are actually devoting a lot of their additional spending to just bringing their troops up to date. Both nations have lots of gear that was new in the 1960s and 1970s. They don't expect to be as up-to-date as the U.S., which spends over $500 billion a year, but there's plenty of newer, much better, and often quite inexpensive equipment to be had.

 

China insists that its growing military power is for defense only. That makes sense, as a lot of money is going into the navy, which protects the imports (mainly of food and raw materials) and exports (of manufactured goods) that are driving the unprecedented economic growth. The Chinese try to explain away the military buildup opposite Taiwan as political theater. This may be true, for a failed attempt to take Taiwan by force would not only disrupt the economy (and create a lot of unhappy Chinese) but would be a major failure by the government. Dictatorships cannot survive too many such failures, or too many angry citizens. So it makes sense that the Chinese military growth is largely for defense. But those large defensive forces can also be used to bully or intimidate neighbors, which is what the neighbors are worried about.

 

Despite the official Chinese line that the growing military is only for defense, the government also maintains a list of approved (as pundits for electronic media and books) retired generals and admirals who will say things that the government approves of but does not want to openly and officially discuss. This often involves the possibility 0f war with various potential enemies. For over a decade these guys have talked about the coming war with the United States. Now they are talking about the “inevitable” war with Japan over territorial disputes and lingering Chinese anger for all the damage Japan did to China during World War II.

 

April 7, 2014: Responding to Japanese concerns about the growing ballistic missile threat from North Korea and China, the U.S. agreed to send two more Aegis ballistic missile defense ships to Japan. These Burke class destroyers will arrive by 2017 and be based in Japan.

 

April 5, 2014: China has made it clear (and rather public) to Pakistan that massive (and much needed) Chinese investment is contingent on keeping the Islamic terrorist violence away from these Chinese financed (and often Chinese run) projects. The government is taking extraordinary measures to provide the security the Chinese demand but time will tell if it is adequate.

 

April 4, 2014: After two years of negotiations India and Israel have agreed to a deal where Israeli defense firms will work with DRDO (the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization) and several state-owned defense firms to design and build an integrated anti-missile defense system. India already has a tested and proven anti-missile ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) but wants something like the anti-missile system Israel has developed and deployed over the last two decades. This new arrangement implies that Israel is willing to share some of its ABM technology (among the best in the world) with India to provide some defense against Chinese and Pakistani nuclear missiles.

 

April 1, 2014:  Japan has overturned its long-time (since World War II) ban on exporting weapons. This makes it possible for Japan to equip other members of the growing anti-Chinese coalition with the most modern weapons. Japan is immune to Chinese threats of economic retaliation, which is what China usually employs to keep its neighbors from getting modern weapons from Europe or the United States.  

 

March 31, 2014: This month China commissioned the first of twelve Type 052D destroyers. This was no surprise because in late 2013 this ship was seen on sea trials in the East China Sea. This new destroyer design appears very similar to the American Aegis equipped destroyers (especially the Burke Class). Five more 52Ds are under construction and one of them is ready for sea trials. China plans to build at least twelve. The development of the 52Ds was a deliberate, and apparently successful, effort to considerably close the quality gap between American and Chinese destroyers and do it quickly.

 

Talks between North Korea and Japan and hosted by China ended on a positive note with North Korea agreeing to actually talk about kidnapped Japanese in future sessions. These were the first such talks since 2009. Actually there was some contact in 2012 in Mongolia between Red Cross officials from both countries. Then, as now, the main topic was Japanese citizens that North Korean agents kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 80s. The talks in Mongolia produced nothing except an agreement to continue the process later with more senior officials. That was aborted when North Korea announced the resumption of long range missile tests at the end of 2013. Obtaining more information on these kidnapping victims is a big issue in Japan, but North Korea has never been eager to release anything, other than the fact that the kidnapping program did exist. Japan refuses to resume foreign aid, which North Korea needs, until the questions about the kidnapping program are answered. This has become a big issue in Japanese politics but the North Koreans refuse to cooperate. Now North Korea says it is willing to talk about cooperating.

 

March 30, 2014: The government revealed that it had formally charged Gu Junshan, the former deputy head of logistics for the army of corruption and had already seized more than $20 million from him, friends and family members. All this began in 2012 when Gu Junshan was removed from his job and the government introduced new rules which forced senior military officers to disclose their personal financial details. It was later revealed that Gu Junshan had used numerous methods to enrich himself. This included taking bribes from suppliers and officers seeking jobs in logistics (where there were more opportunities to steal). Corruption in the military has been a problem in China for thousands of years. The communists thought they had cured it, but after they took control of China in the late 1940s the rot began to reappear. There have been several major efforts since then to keep the corruption from getting out of hand (and doing serious damage to combat capabilities). This latest public anti-corruption effort is an indicator that the government believes the generals and admirals are a little too corrupt. The investigation and prosecution of Gu Junshan indicates that the most senior military officers are not immune to justice. The government has also announced more anti-corruption inspections of military bases and those who work there. These are audits seeking to detect corrupt practices and find out who was responsible.

 

In Taiwan there have been growing public demonstrations against a proposed new law that would allow massive Chinese investment in Taiwan. For decades it has been the other way around. But allowing Chinese investors in is seen as a way for China to take over Taiwan by, literally, buying most of it. 

 

March 29, 2014: The Philippines defied a Chinese blockade of Second Thomas Reef and evaded a large Chinese coast guard ship that was literally blocking the approach of Filipino ships. China was angry at the Philippines because of the continued presence of eight Filipino marines on Second Thomas Reef. Today’s successful resupply mission leaves the marines well stocked. China says this is an intolerable affront to Chinese sovereignty. This sort of statement is how China warns victims that an attack is coming and the Philippines has asked the United States for some backup here. The U.S. responded by saying it supported peaceful resolution of this dispute. By that the Americans mean they want the Chinese to wait for the recent submission of the dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This could result in a legal decision by 2015 but China has indicated that it will not abide by any such ruling. Challenging such a decision exposes China to trade sanctions, which would stall economic growth and create a recession that could cause unrest. The Chinese leaders are eager to avoid that. A military assault on the Filipino LST would also create the risk of legal and economic backlash as well as the lesser risk of military escalation. The next step appears to be a tighter blockade of the Filipino garrison to starve them out. Chinese civilian and military ships blocked two earlier efforts by Filipino supply ships to deliver food and water to Second Thomas Reef and stationing more ships there to enforce the blockade might work. The supplies can and have been air dropped. Resupply by air is expensive and uncertain during bad weather. For the last year China has been increasing pressure on the Philippines to remove small detachments of sailors and marines stationed on nine islets and reefs in the Spratly Islands. In particular the Chinese want this detachment, stationed on a World War II era landing ship (the BRP Sierra Madre) removed. The Filipino navy deliberately grounded the LST on Second Thomas Reef in 1999 to provide a place for an observation team. In 2013 Chinese patrol ships came within nine kilometers of the LST, which China insists is there illegally. The Philippines warns China that it will resist any attempts to use force against the grounded ship. The initial response from China was constructing more buildings (on stilts) on nearby Mischief Reef (which is only 126 kilometers from the Philippines’ Palawan Island). Second Thomas Reef and nearby Reed Bank are 148 kilometers west of the Philippines (Palawan Island) and well within the Philippines’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). Although the EEZ is recognized by international law (and a treaty that China signed and uses to defend waters off its own coast) China says that does not apply here because all the islets in the South China Sea belong to China and there is no room for negotiation on that point.  Most countries in the region (except Japan, which would rather not dwell on this) note that this was how Japan behaved before World War II. Official U.S. policy is to try and get everyone to calm down and be less provocative. American P-3C maritime patrol aircraft regularly fly over the Spratly Islands and photograph Chinese installations and naval activities. This data is shared with the Philippines and perhaps others. China is the biggest offender in the Spratly Island disputes and shows no sign of slowing, or backing, down. Now China is warning the world that it is ready to escalate but is afraid that the world will call their bluff.

 

March 22, 2014: In the United States it was revealed that the United States had been hacking into one of China’s major computer hardware companies (Huawei Technologies) in order to secretly plant Cyber War software to be activated in wartime or to deal with any Chinese aggression. This was no surprise to the Chinese and revealing details enabled China to improve its Cyber War defenses.

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3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
source USA News

source USA News

 

Apr. 2, 2014 - By MARCUS WEISGERBER – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — Taiwan watched Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine very closely. After all, the island nation, which is claimed by China, has long feared Beijing might do the same thing.

 

“We learned a very important lesson that we have to modernize our military by spending [to] develop [weapons and equipment] ourselves or working closely with the Americans,” Andrew Hsia, Taiwan’s deputy defense minister, said Wednesday at a Center for a New American Security event in Washington.

 

Russia’s military faced no resistance from Ukrainian forces as they entered the Crimean peninsula and eventually took over Ukrainian military bases. Many of the Ukrainian air force’s fighter jets are not flyable, and the ones that are can have limited capabilities. The rest of Ukraine’s military also has dated equipment with limited capabilities.

 

Taiwan has had a standing request to purchase new Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters from the US; however, Washington has not approved the deal, instead offering upgrade Taiwan’s existing F-16s.

 

The George W. Bush administration in 2001 offered Taiwan submarines, but that deal never advanced.

 

Thirteen years later there is no “clear indication of how that will happen,” Hsia said Wednesday. “At this moment, I think Taiwan is developing, or trying to develop, our own indigenous submarine.

 

“I think people may have different thinking about submarines, so basically our request is that we should be able to sit down with the United States government to discuss … the system that is suitable for preventing war in Taiwan,” he continued.

 

Hsia said Taiwan should maintain defense spending at a 3 percent of gross domestic product. He said the budget, in recent years, has fallen short of that goal, particularly since the defense ministry has budgeted for weapon purchases that have not been approved by the US government. The money not spent on these items is returned to the treasury.

 

Still, Hsia stressed the need for Taiwan to receive support for the US.

 

“We’d … like to sit down with the American side to discuss what is the most adequate assistance that is suitable for the Taiwan Straight,” he said.

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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 07:35
Taiwan Receives First ‘Carrier Killer’ Ship

The Tuo River, the first of twelve 500-ton stealthy twin-hull missile corvettes, has been delivered to the ROC Navy.

 

March 14, 2014 By Zachary Keck– The Diplomat
 

The first of Taiwan’s so-called “carrier killer” ships was delivered to the Republic of China (ROC) Navy on Friday, according to local media.

Focus Taiwan reports that the Tuo River, a 500-ton stealthy twin-hull missile corvette, was christened by the ROC Navy earlier today. As the report explained, “The twin-hull corvette, described as a ‘carrier-killer’ by local media, has a maximum speed of 38 knots (70 kilometers per hour) and a range of 2,000 nautical miles. Its speed and low radar signature allows the corvette to get close to enemy targets.”

It is the first of what is expected to be 12 ships built in Taiwan under the Hsun Hai (Swift Sea) program. The program was first announced publicly in 2009, although Taiwan’s legislature waited until 2011 to authorize NT$24.98 billion (US$853.4 million) in funding for the program.

Originally, the program was supposed to yield between 7 and 11 vessels, but that number is believed to have been upped to as many as 12.

The new missile corvettes are seen as the successors for Taiwan’s Kuang Hua VI (KH-6) fast-attack boats. The ROC Navy’s has around 31 of the 170-ton KH-6s, which boast Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) anti-ship missiles. The new 500-ton fast attack boats pack a much greater punch, with eight Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) and Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, as well as a 76mm rapid-fire bow gun, according to J. Michael Cole.

In a 2012 report for Taipei Times, Cole noted that the new fast attack ships were being designed with stability in mind, given the rough waters in the Taiwan Strait. The KH-6 had been widely criticized as too fragile to operate in these waters. Cole also explained at the time, “Special attention has reportedly been paid to the stealth design for the hull and main gun turret, which will use radar refractive materials.”

Writing around the same time for The Diplomat, Jim Holmes noted that the computer generated models of the proposed fast attack boats bore some resemblance to the United States’ Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The USS Independence, the first of the LCS, is much longer and heavier than the Tuo River, and has a much greater range, however it is only slighter faster and both vessels envision a crew of roughly 40 sailors.

In the same article, Holmes also noted that Taiwan could no longer control the seas thanks to the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). “What it can do,” Holmes continued:

is disperse large numbers of small combatants to hardened sites – caves, shelters, fishing ports – around the island’s rough coast. Such vessels could sortie to conduct independent operations against enemy shipping. Or, they could mass their firepower in concerted “wolf pack” attacks on major PLAN formations. While Taiwan is no longer mistress of the waters lapping against its shores, “sea denial” lies within its modest means.

This seems to be the envisioned purpose of the Swift Sea vessels.

It’s worth noting, however, that Taiwan’s larger strategic objective is to more tightly integrate itself into the regional order, in hopes of countering China’s bid to isolate it. For example, it recently signed trade agreements with New Zealand and Singapore, and a fishery agreement with Japan. Just this week, President Ma Ying-jeou reaffirmed Taiwan’s strong interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreements.

Taiwan’s budding domestic defense industry could be an asset to this broader strategy. Specifically, while many developed nations are hesitant to sell arms to Taiwan, Taipei could sell some of its defense systems to Southeast Asian states like the Philippines. This would also serve the purpose of differentiating its claims to the South China Sea from mainland China’s claims to the same waters. Taiwan has pursued a similar strategy already in the East China Sea.

Regardless, the Tuo River will now undergo extensive testing before beginning its first deployment, which is expected in the first half of next year.

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15 mars 2014 6 15 /03 /mars /2014 17:35
Lawmakers press US to fund Taiwan fighter jets

 

 

Mar 14, 2014 ASDNews (AFP)

 

US lawmakers pressed Friday for a robust defense of Taiwan, voicing alarm over Pentagon plans to defund upgrades of the island's fighter jets as part of budget cuts.

 

Crossing party lines, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee called for the United States to stand firm on protecting Taiwan and to ignore concerns by a rising China, which considers the self-governing democracy to be a province awaiting reunification.

 

Read more

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10 janvier 2014 5 10 /01 /janvier /2014 08:35
UGM-84 Harpoon missile photo US Navy

UGM-84 Harpoon missile photo US Navy

 

09/01/2014 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

The Republic of China Navy has received its first consignment of Harpoon anti-ship missiles from the United States.

 

Placed in 2008, the Taiwanese Harpoon missile order comprises 32 UGM-84L Harpoon Block IIs and pairs of UTM-84L training missiles and weapon control systems.

 

According to Taiwanese officials, the submarine-launched Harpoons will reinforce the Republic of China Navy's attack capability, supplementing the Harpoon missile variants already carried by its frigates and the Republic of China Air Force's F-16 A/B Block 20 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft.

 

Taiwanese Harpoon Missiles

 

When first placed, the Taiwanese Harpoon missile order irked China, which strongly protested. More recently, Taiwanese-Chinese relations have improved significantly but still hanging over Taiwan is the prospect of an invasion. It's for that reason that Taiwan is steadily acquiring new or upgraded military technologies.

 

"The [Harpoon] missiles will be able to extend the range of the...submarines' striking capabilities, enabling them to launch a pre-emptive attack when necessary", explained Andrew Hsia - deputy defence minister - in comments quoted by Taiwan's Central News Agency.

 

Sub-Launched Harpoons

 

Each submarine-launched Harpoon has a 150 nautical mile range, greatly extending the reach of the Republic of China Navy's current in-service torpedoes. All-weather capable, the Block II missiles have an over-the-horizon capability and, fitted with a 500 pound blast warhead, are designed to strike a variety of targets.

 

The UGM-84L missiles will equip the Navy's two Chien Lung-class submarines. Constructed in The Netherlands, these are modified variants of the Zwaardvis-class submarines, themselves based on an earlier US-designed submarine. Named Hai Lung and Hai Hu, the two submarines entered service in 1987 and 1988, respectively, and each has now been modernised in order to carry the Harpoons.

 

With the first batch of Harpoons delivered, the remainder are scheduled to arrive in Taiwan before the end of 2016.

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13 décembre 2013 5 13 /12 /décembre /2013 08:35
Taiwan Developing Weapons Capable UCAV

 

Dec 2013 by By Yasir Faheem

 

Taiwan's military is developing a weapons-capable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with some stealth capabilities at the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, an official at the institute said.

 

This will be the first armed UAV from the military-run research center, which has developed various tactical drones for surveillance and reconnaissance that cannot carry weapons, according to the source familiar with the institute's project, who requested anonymity.

 

Unlike previous models, the drone under development boasts short wings, stealth features and a weapons cabin that can carry missiles and bombs, the official said.

 

"The new UAV would be able to evade radar detection as its body is made from radar-absorbent materials," the official added.

 

The revelation came on the sidelines of a defense technology exhibition at Taoyuan County Stadium.

 

A dazzling array of high-tech devices and equipment developed in civilian and military collaborative projects are on display.

 

Exhibits featured at the Dec. 6-7 event include a variety of UAVs, Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles — also known as Brave Wind III — and Tien Kung III air defense missiles —also known as Sky Bow III — as well as sophisticated devices in the fields of aerospace and green technology.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Taiwan's BMD Radar Gives Unique Data on China

Distant Vision: Taiwan's sophisticated radar installation on Leshan Mountain can peer deep into China. (Federation of American Scientists)

 

Nov. 26, 2013 - By WENDELL MINNICK – Defense News

 

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s early warning radar (EWR) on the island’s west coast has gained the respect of just about everyone in the region — except China. And for good reason, sources say. It is the most “powerful radar in the world,” said a Taiwan defense industry source.

 

“Even the Americans don’t have anything close,” he said.

 

Sources debate the potential power of the radar, based on Leshan Mountain near the city of Hsinchu, but all agree it is a multifaceted, ultra high frequency (UHF) radar capable of tracking air-breathing targets — including cruise missiles — and ballistic missiles at 3,000 kilometers, depending on the target.

 

“It’s more of an intelligence collection system than a ballistic missile defense warning system,” said one US defense industry source. “Taiwan can see almost all of China’s significant Air Force sorties and exercises from this radar.”

 

The requirement for such a powerful surveillance platform came about at China’s instigation. During the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait missile crisis, China launched 10 DF-15 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) into the waters north and south of the island. The intent was to discourage Taiwan from conducting its first democratic elections, but it failed.

 

The US responded by sending two aircraft carrier groups to the area as a show of support. At the time, China had approximately 350 DF-11/15 SRBMs, but today that number is about 1,100, according to Pentagon estimates.

 

Taiwan responded to the threat by procuring Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) ballistic missile defense systems with three fire units for $1.3 billion. The units were stationed around the capital city of Taipei, leaving much of the central and southern part of the island unprotected, except for an indigenous air defense missile system, the Tien Kung 2 (Sky Bow).

 

Elements in the Taiwan military and the Pentagon pushed Taiwan to proceed with the procurement of the PAC-3 system, but politics in Taiwan slowed progress on the deal until 2007, when the US released a “Patriot configuration 2 ground systems upgrade” for the older PAC-2s for $939 million.

 

In 2008, the US released 330 PAC-3 missiles, and in 2010, the US released an additional 114 PAC-3 missiles.

 

In 2000, the US government approved the sale of ballistic missile detection radar under the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP). Raytheon proposed an advanced UHF long-range EWR based on the AN/FPS-115 Pave Paws, and Lockheed offered the Medium Extended Air Defense System.

 

Raytheon won the $800 million contract in 2004 and began construction in 2009. Building delays due to landslides and technical issues forced Taiwan to agree to pay an additional $397 million in charges to finish the project.

 

Though there were loud complaints from Taiwan’s legislature and the Ministry of National Defense, the result was one of the “most unique radars ever built,” a Taiwan defense industry said.

 

Japan is attempting to catch up with the fielding of AN/TPY-2 long-range, X-Band air defense radars, which were originally designed as a ground-based mobile radar for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. A US defense industry source said the Japanese could be building an indigenous system similar to THAAD.

 

Also, Japan’s Mitsubishi and US-based Raytheon are jointly working a new Standard Missile for naval platforms, designated the SM-3 Block 2A.

 

Despite Japan’s best efforts, Taiwan’s EWR will continue to hold the prize for distance and azimuth for some time, sources said. The radar is capable of tracking 1,000 targets simultaneously.

 

In late 2012, shortly after going online, the radar managed to track the launch of a North Korean missile. The radar is visible on Google Earth at 24.499 North and 121.072 East. It is 170 kilometers from China’s coastline and directly across from China’s signal intelligence station at Dongjing Shan. This is significant because the radar reportedly has jamming capabilities.

 

During a war, China will do whatever it takes to destroy that radar.

 

“It’s not expected to last an hour during a war with China,” said one US defense industry source.

 

The question many are asking, of which no one can agree, is whether the US military, via the US Air Force’s Defense Security Program (DSP), has access to the data collected by the facility. DSP monitors ballistic missile launches and nuclear detonations.

 

One US defense industry analyst with close ties to Taiwan’s military said the DSP has access to it.

 

“The US gave Taiwan free access to DSP satellites for the last 10 years. So this is quid pro quo,” he said.

 

However, a former US government official said he was skeptical of any such arrangement.

 

“It’s unlikely that a formal arrangement between Taiwan and the US exists that involves Taiwan’s sharing of real-time radar data with the US,” he said. “The UHF radar system is much more than just ballistic missile early warning. And there are much better quid pro quos available. Main problem is US policy, which self-constrains substantive cooperation.”

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4 novembre 2013 1 04 /11 /novembre /2013 06:35
photo US Navy

photo US Navy

 

01/11/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

Hot on the heels of China's recent nuclear submarine fleet unveiling, Taiwan has now showcased its first delivered submarine-hunting Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

 

The first Taiwanese Orion made its public debut at a handover event staged on 31 October 2013, in the presence of defence officials and Ma Ying-yeou - the President of Taiwan. The aircraft is one of 12 ultimately set to equip the Republic of China (Taiwanese) Navy, with three more airframes scheduled to arrive in coming weeks and the remainder by 2015.

 

According to President Ma, the Taiwanese P-3C fleet is "the most advanced among the hundreds that are serving many countries in the world." He added: "I believe that after the aircraft join the air force, we will see our underwater anti-submarine, ship-to-ship and air attack capabilities greatly enhanced."

 

Taiwanese Navy Orions

 

The Taiwanese Navy Orions are refurbished P-3C models. Capable of carrying out sustained 17 hour patrol missions, each carries MK46 torpedoes and Harpoon missiles. Military experts suggest that, equipped with these advanced maritime patrol aircraft, Taiwan's submarine-hunting capability will become no less than ten times more effective than at present.

 

In Republic of China Navy service, the Orions are the replacement for Taiwan's Grumman S-2T Turbo Trackers, which arrived in 1999. 27 Turbo Trackers were supplied but barely 50 per cent of them remain active. All Taiwanese Turbo Trackers now serve within the Republic of China Air Force.

 

A key component of NATO's maritime patrol capability, the Orion was originally the US Navy's Lockheed P-2 Neptune replacement and has now been in service for more than 50 years. Adapted from the Lockheed L-188 Electra airliner, it was given a weapons bay and a MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) system, used to detect submarines.

 

Taiwanese Submarine Hunters

 

News of the Taiwanese P-3C submarine hunters purchase first emerged in 2007, after former President Chen Shui-bian stressed the need for strengthened defences against China.

 

Almost six years on, his successor yesterday announced: "Although ties with the Chinese mainland have improved significantly in the last five years, they have not changed their military deployments targeting Taiwan. We must not relax our military preparations."

 

Right now, it's thought that China's PLA (People's Liberation Army) has some 1,500 missiles pointed Taiwan's way.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 11:35
Think Tank: Taiwan - the missing piece in the rebalance puzzle

 

15 October 2013 By Alexander Neill – Pacific Sentinel

 

In the wake of the US President’s decision to pull out of any engagements in Asia surrounding the APEC summit in Bali last week, critics of the US rebalance to Asia policy have exploited his absence as evidence of US regional strategic bluster.

 

For the most part, the Chinese media avoided the temptation of hubris, taking a more conciliatory tone and played up the central role of China’s regional economic engagement at the summit. Chinese leaders will have recalled the abrupt departure by Hu Jintao from the G8 summit in Italy in 2009 as insurrection broke out in troubled Xinjiang.

 

The US has been very quick off the mark with rebuttals, proclaiming the Asia pivot to be firmly rooted in Washington DC’s foreign policy. Standing in for the President, Secretary of State Kerry’s presence in Bali was a notable exception to his predisposition for the quagmire in the Middle East, viewed by many as another counterweight to the Asia pivot.

 

World attention in Bali has focused on the windfall presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping, allowing China to steal centre stage. Xi has made a whirlwind circuit through the region on a state visit to Jakarta, then on to Kuala Lumpur before returning to Indonesia for the APEC summit.

 

China is now Indonesia’s second largest trading partner, with bilateral trade amounting to US$66 billion in 2012. During the state visit, both countries agreed to increase bilateral trade by a further $15 billion by 2015.

 

In Malaysia, China agreed a five-year plan to boost bilateral trade to US$160 billion by 2017. With these kinds of figures thrown into the mix of China’s increasingly dexterous Southeast Asian diplomacy, it’s difficult to imagine how the US couldn’t have been upstaged at Bali. But the US, facing the looming shadow of debt default as the shutdown continues, has put on a brave face, confident that a final deal on the Trans Pacific Partnership can be achieved by year end.

 

Another casualty of the paralysis in Washington is its stake in Taiwan. While acrimony between China and Japan lingered beneath the veneer of economic engagement at the summit, the cross-strait relationship between Taiwan and China appeared to demonstrate new momentum. Heralded as a milestone meeting, Xi Jinping’s discussions with Vincent Siew, Taiwan’s senior envoy and former Vice President, added a new twist to the debate over China’s strategic intent in the Asia–Pacific.

 

Xi called for an end to institutionalised procrastination over Taiwan’s reunification with China, describing Taiwan and China as ‘one family’. He insisted that the time is right for political discussions on the cross-strait relationship, without the conditional tones which infused statements on the same issue under Hu Jintao’s leadership.

 

Aside from the showcase handshake between Siew and Xi, another sign of acceleration in the thaw in cross-strait relations was a meeting between the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the Taiwanese executive body tasked with managing relations with the People’s Republic, and the head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. Both bodies have served as rubber stamp outfits over the years, while the real business has been conducted behind closed doors within the Kuomintang-Communist Party ‘party-to-party’ framework, initiated by Hu Jintao and Lien Chan in 2005 and fast-tracked after the KMT regained power in 2008. At the Bali meeting, both bodies formally referred to their respective official designations. It’s rumoured that significant progress may have been achieved in the establishment of representative offices in Beijing and Taipei.

 

China’s economic integration of Taiwan in recent years is a good example of how Beijing is courting ASEAN member states. With China’s burgeoning economic clout in the neighbourhood, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and ASEAN member states are beginning to hedge their approaches to the US. Some of these approaches seem ad hoc at best, others more developed into what resembles coherent strategy.

 

A confidant of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and former National Security Secretary General, Su Chi best sums up the predicament of US friends and allies on China’s littoral as: ‘the tail wagging two dogs’. The biggest question mark is whether or not Xi Jinping will sacrifice the hitherto sacrosanct cross-strait status quo in order to pursue the reunification agenda with as much vigour as China’s other core concerns.

 

The lingering fissure in the integrity of the motherland is apparently of such pressing concern for the Chinese communist party that an additional tenth dash recently appeared off Taiwan on Chinese maps showing China’s maritime territorial demarcation. Crucial to any political progress across the strait will be military de-escalation and the offer by both sides of military confidence building measures. Former Premier Wen Jiabao had hinted in 2010 at de-targeting the PLA’s missiles pointed at Taiwan but it appears the opposite has happened. The PLA’s strategic rocket force known as the second artillery corps has now deployed its new anti-ship ballistic missiles across the strait.

 

Taiwan is still China’s greatest concern, and the issue has driven the modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army for the last decade. A few years ago, defence analysts in the US warned that the military balance across the strait was tipping in favour of the PLA (PDF). According to Taiwan’s 2013 National Defense Report released on 8 September, China will be able to successfully invade Taiwan by 2020. And as Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi may also feel emboldened by the decline in Taiwan’s defence spending.

 

Traditionally, Taiwan has kept the US in the loop on important junctures in cross-strait relations and Washington has been careful not to engage with Beijing on such issues over the head of Taipei. Post shutdown, as the White House resuscitates its rebalance to Asia, Congress would be well advised to review its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act.

 

Alexander Neill is a Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies-Asia, Singapore

 

This article first appeared on the ASPI "The Strategist" Blog

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
Taiwan Receives First US Anti-Submarine Aircraft

Sep. 25, 2013 – Defense news (AFP)

 

TAIPEI — Taiwan on Wednesday received the first of 12 anti-submarine aircraft from the United States, as it beefs up its naval defenses against China, the military said.

 

Television footage showed the P-3C Orion patrol aircraft landing at an air base in southern Pingtung county. Water was then splashed on the plane in a brief welcome ceremony.

 

The other 11 planes are scheduled for delivery by 2015, the military said.

 

Washington agreed in 2007 to sell Taiwan the refurbished P-3C Orion patrol aircraft, which reportedly will expand the surveillance range of Taipei's anti-submarine fleet tenfold.

 

The P-3C fleet, which will cost around $1.96 billion, is intended to replace the island's aging S-2T anti-submarine aircraft to carry out maritime patrol and reconnaissance.

 

Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou became Taiwan's president in 2008 on a China-friendly platform.

 

However, Beijing still regards the island as part of its territory and has refused to rule out the use of force against Taiwan. The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war.

 

Taiwan has built up a defense force equipped with weapons acquired mostly from the United States, despite Washington's switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Taiwan's Guided Cluster Bomb Enters Service

24/09/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

The Republic of China (Taiwanese) Air Force will soon be equipped with smart munitions and potentially be using them to defend itself against China, according to local media reports.

 

Should China strike its transport infrastructure, Taiwan's 'Wan Chien' (Ten Thousand Swords) weapons will be ready to retaliate, it's claimed. The US - previously a major source of arms imports - wouldn't make its smart bombs available to Taiwan, hence the initiation and development of the country's own guided weapons programme.

 

The Taiwanese media reports that 60 Republic of China Air Force combat aircraft will be carrying Wan Chien weapons by January 2013, although no official word has yet emerged from the nation's defence ministry.

 

Wan Chien Cluster Bomb

 

The Wan Chien cluster bomb shares some elements in common with the AGM-154 JSOW (Joint Stand-Off Weapon). Aircraft-launched, it has a range of up to 250 kilometres, a length of around 4.5 metres and boasts a 350 kilogram warhead.

 

It is likely that the Wan Chien bombs will equip the Republic of China Air Force's AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo combat aircraft. This indigenous multirole-capable air superiority fighter first flew in 1989 and entered service five years later. 130 examples of it were built, primarily for the Republic of China Air Force.

 

Taiwanese Bombs Into Service

 

When the Taiwanese bombs go into service, these fighters will be able to strike mainland China without having to actually overfly Chinese territory, according to military analysts.

 

Despite past relationship strains, Taiwan and China have actually been getting on better in recent years. Even so, China still seeks ownership of Taiwan and has not ruled out obtaining it through forceful means, if necessary. Indeed, Taiwanese military experts believe China has some 1,600 missiles permanently pointed Taiwan's way.

 

The Republic of China Air Force is tasked with defending Taiwan's airspace. Active since 1920, the air arm is equipped with a multitude of aircraft types including F-16 Fighting Falcon and Mirage 2000 fighters and C-130 Hercules transporters. The Wan Chien guided cluster bombs join a weapons inventory that already includes AIM-120 AMRAAMs, AIM-9 Sidewinders and AGM-65 Mavericks

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:55
Mer de Chine, une logique de guerre ?

22 Septembre 2013 Par Francis Vallat, Président du Cluster maritime français, Président du Réseau européen des clusters maritimes - Marine & Océans

 

Les incidents et conflits larvés qui surviennent régulièrement en mer de Chine où se défient les flottes militaires des pays riverains, Chine, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaisie et Japon, sont extrêmement inquiétants. Plus probablement pour la paix du monde que les crises qui font aujourd'hui la "Une" de nos quotidiens (y compris le drame syrien). Je pense, en particulier, aux manoeuvres autour des îles Paracels et Spratleys qui génèrent des tensions entre le Vietnam et la Chine ou encore à celles concernant les bancs de Sarborough et de Thomas, dans les eaux philippines, qui aiguisent les tensions entre les Philippines et la Chine. A chaque fois l'enjeu y est le contrôle effectif de ces îlots tant sur un plan stratégique que pour les ressources minéralières ou halieutiques qu'ils recèlent. Je pense aussi à divers incidents navals intervenus ces dernières années, en particulier entre la Chine et le Japon, réglés en dehors de toute notion de droit.

 

Plus encore probablement que le fond, c'est la méthode et le comportement de la Chine qui inquiètent. Une méthode qui s'apparente à des tentatives de règlement des différends non plus par la voie diplomatique ou l'application des conventions internationales, mais par l'intimidation, voire la menace, le chantage, ou encore la politique affirmée et répétée du « fait accompli ». Cette logique risque de remettre en cause l'ordre international que nos ancêtres sont difficilement parvenus à établir pour sauvegarder la liberté des mers, garante de la liberté des échanges, elle-même garante de rapports pacifiques.

 

En ce sens, il s'agit objectivement d'une logique de guerre. Car si le droit international n'est plus appliqué, si les principes ne sont plus défendus, si les puissances ferment les yeux, l'anarchie s'installera, puis la violence avec un risque (une certitude ?) de retour à des affrontements armés et à des crises régionales graves. Il ne s'agit pas là, par ailleurs, seulement de liberté de circulation. L'enjeu est aussi celui de la protection de toutes ces ressources alimentaires et minières qui font de la mer l'avenir de la terre, que ce soit celles des grands fonds, des zones économiques exclusives et de la haute mer, à condition de les exploiter proprement et en les sécurisant.

 

Il s'agit là d'une problématique, à la fois particulière dans ses manifestations "maritimo-navales" d'aujourd'hui, et bien connue dans ses principes, à laquelle le XXIème siècle est confronté à son tour, comme il l'est par les problématiques de protection des grandes routes maritimes ou de circulation dans les bassins. De fait, l'esprit est le même, puisque là aussi l'équilibre entre les Etats dépend en grande partie de leurs capacités à organiser librement et pacifiquement leurs échanges commerciaux. C'est d'ailleurs pour cela que la piraterie est identifiée comme l'un des principaux problèmes de sécurité des prochaines décennies. D'autant que si à ce jour elle se concentre dans l'Océan indien, le Golfe de Guinée, au large du détroit de Malacca et le long de certaines côtes d'Amérique du Sud, il est malgré tout clair qu'elle peut et pourra concerner, dans la durée, toutes les zones côtières de notre monde qui voient transiter des flux énormes de richesses, au large de pays pauvres.

 

Il est donc essentiel, au vu de ces dangers, que les Etats de droit aient le courage de condamner plus vigoureusement ces agissements et prennent les moyens de se faire entendre, y compris de la Chine concernant la "mer de Chine"... appellation que certains dirigeants de l'Empire du Milieu invoquent pour dire "tout y est à nous" ! Mais il est vrai que sans moyens navals dignes de ce nom, le message de nombre de pays risque fort de ressembler aux moulinets de Matamore ou du Capitaine Fracasse. Raison de plus pour que la France ne baisse pas la garde. Il est encore temps !

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Taiwan Develops 'Smart' Munitions Against China: Report

Sep. 21, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s air force will be armed with “smart” munitions before the year’s end that could be used against any Chinese invasion by striking airfields and harbors on the mainland, media reported Saturday.

 

The new weaponry, developed under a project codenamed “Wan Chien” (Ten Thousand Swords), is scheduled to be carried by dozens of Taiwan’s fighter jets.

 

The island nation began developing its own smart weapons after the United States — Taiwan’s main arms supplier — refused to sell it guided bombs.

 

Taiwan’s air force plans to upgrade 60 fighters before the year’s end, with the last six being refitted and scheduled to be completed in December, the Taipei-based China Times reported.

 

The defense ministry declined to comment on the report.

 

The new weaponry will enable Taiwanese fighter jets to hit Chinese targets from a distance and reduce the risk of having to fly over mainland territory, analysts say.

 

The weapons, an equivalent of the US-developed joint direct attack munition (JDAM) that converts unguided bombs into all-weather “smart” munitions, is designed to target harbors, missile and radar bases, as well as troop build-ups prior to any invasion of the island, they say.

 

Each kit carries more than 100 warheads capable of blowing dozens of small craters in airport runways, making them impossible to use, they say.

 

The China Times said the refusal to sell JDAMs to Taiwan by United States had prompted the island to develop the offensive weapon on its own.

 

Ties between Taiwan and its giant neighbor have improved significantly since the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government took power in Taipei in 2008. Ma was re-elected in January 2012.

 

But China still considers the island part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, prompting Taipei to seek more advanced defense weaponry, mainly from the United States.

 

Taiwanese experts estimate the People’s Liberation Army has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

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