Monday, January 09, 2006

Military News

Some interesting stories on Chinese and Taiwanese military forces in the news as of late. Troops, submarines, and missiles. A little something for everyone.
  • The People's Liberation Army continues to decrease in size relative to its sister services. This is a vital part of modernizing Chinese armed forces. The downside for the government is that it increases already high unemployment.
    At the end of 2005, China completed the task of trimming the ranks of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) by 200,000, bringing its total number of troops to 2.3 million. [Xinhua]

  • The KMT is characterizing the eight diesel submarines offered Taiwan by the United States as offensive weapons, and thus inappropriate for the ROC military. [Taipei Times]
    Taiwan should boost its defensive capabilities and aim to survive a `first strike' during a Chinese military attack. It is not necessary to spend huge amounts of money on offensive submarines.

    [B]ecause of China's sparse anti-submarine warfare capabilities, Beijing would have to spend around eight times the amount spent on Taiwan's submarine force to build up adequate capabilities, including procuring anti-submarine aircraft, minesweepers, mine-sweeping helicopters, anti-submarine missiles and destroyers. Therefore, the move would distract China from concentrating on its offensive capabilities.

    The supposedly non-partisan editor of Taiwan Defense Review:
    The KMT wants Taiwan to take a beating from China

  • Speaking of offensive weapons, Jane's Defense Weekly reports Taiwan will soon begin deploying Hsiung Feng IIE cruise missiles capable of striking China's east coast. Earlier, I was unclear whether the HS-IIE was a land attack or anti-ship cruise missile. After further consideration, it is likely both, since there is only minimal difference between them, much like the Exocet and Harpoon can be launched from numerous platforms.

Update: Brian Dunn critiques a piece on the above-mentioned missiles that has earned the title "most twisted analysis yet."