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June 23, 2017

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MND warns China able to attack Taiwan by 2020

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Despite warming cross-strait ties, China has continued to enhance its combat capabilities and will be capable of launching a full-scale military attack against Taiwan by 2020, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a report to the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

The MND report said that Beijing has never renounced the use of force against Taiwan to prevent it from declaring independence despite a thawing bilateral relation over the past years.

Intelligence shows that Beijing's growing military strength, which continues to target Taipei, still poses a major threat to the country, it noted.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been actively engaged in modernizing its armed forces by deploying new weapons to ramp up its combat capabilities.

The PLA will be capable of launching an all-out attack on Taiwan by 2020, the MND report said.

The PLA's latest efforts to beef up its combat capabilities include manufacturing and deploying reconnaissance satellites, developing new weapon systems such as unmanned combat aviation vehicles, an aircraft carrier, nuclear-powered submarines, attack helicopters, armored vehicles and ballistic missiles, among others, it noted.

In response, the R.O.C. armed forces has also been engaged in efforts to strengthen its self-defense capability and beef up its ability to monitor the latest developments in the East and South China Seas with the acquisition of P-3C anti-submarine aircraft, it noted.

The MND sent its report to the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday, a day before Defense Minister Yen Ming (嚴明) was scheduled to report on the committee today.

Meanwhile, the MND report outlined plans to raise the salaries for voluntary soldiers again soon as a further move to boost voluntary soldiers recruitment.

The military is making preparations to propose another wave of salary and subsidy hikes soon and the proposal will be officially made before the end of this month, the MND report said.

The government previously approved a first wave of salary increases this January.

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