China may boost missiles aimed at Taiwan to 1,900: Official

China could raise the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan to 1,900 by the end of the year despite warming ties between the former bitter rivals, according to the island`s deputy Defence Minister.

Last Updated: Jul 21, 2010, 19:35 PM IST

Taipei: China could raise the number of
missiles aimed at Taiwan to 1,900 by the end of the year
despite warming ties between the former bitter rivals,
according to the island`s deputy Defence Minister.

Military experts estimate that the PLA currently has more
than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.
But recent media reports have said the People`s
Liberation Army may boost the number of short-range ballistic
and cruise missiles facing Taiwan to 1,960 before the year`s
end.

"Judging from their manufacturing capacities, the PLA
could increase to that number of missiles targeting Taiwan
before the year`s end," Andrew Yang, an academic-turned deputy
Defence Minister, told AFP.

Although tensions across the Taiwan Strait have eased
since President Ma Ying-jeou`s China-friendly administration
came to power in 2008, "Beijing has never renounced the use of
force against Taipei," Yang warned.

Beijing has repeatedly vowed to invade Taiwan should the
island declare formal independence even though Taiwan has
governed itself since the end of civil war in 1949.
Yang did not discuss possible evidence indicating a
missile build-up by the PLA.

The perceived military threat has prompted Taiwan to
launch wargames simulating an invasion by China.

Taiwan`s president has also vowed to build stronger armed
forces to serve as a deterrent against aggression from
Beijing, while also promising to push for a peace treaty to
end more than six decades of hostilities.

PTI