Chen promises more weapon procurement from US if reelected
( 2003-12-07 08:48) (People's Daily)
During his recent "stopover" in America, Chen
Shui-bian promised that his top priority upon reelection is to purchase PAC 3
anti-ballistic missile from the United States, experts on cross-Straits affairs
from Washington revealed.
Chen's promise of more arms purchase from America is confirmed by the article
entitled "Taiwan Must Get Serious about Defense" written by John Tkacik, a
senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, which was published on the
latest issue of Defense News.
The article says the traditional diesel-powered submarine and P-3 ASW
aircraft Taiwan intended to buy are no longer in production in America. Either
to find new sources of goods or reopen the production line will be costly,
Taiwan-based "China Times" quoted the article as saying. According to the
Pentagon, Taiwan needs over US$12 billion to buy eight submarines of this type
and US$4 billion for 12 P-3 ASW planes. That is to say, the price for each
diesel submarine equals that of a nuclear one of America, while the price for
each P-3 plane is two times that of a Boeing 777. Moreover, they are far from
being delivered and fielded.
The real top consideration for Taiwan defense is a missile defense system,
Tkacik pointed out in his article. So the Taiwan authorities should seriously
consider buying the PAC-3 defense system. This is also an option eagerly put
forward by the Pentagon. While one of the central components of the system is
distance early warning radar, Tkacik said, of which Chen has promised to buy the
key equipment at a cost of US$15 billion, but haven't obtained permission from
the island's "Legislative Yuan".
The next priority of Taiwan, the article said, must be to upgrade the
island's "combat telecommunications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance-the so-called 'C4ISR' capabilities and infrastructure". Taiwan
must streamline the combat capabilities between different armies, regions and
weapon systems, Tkacik pointed out.