Taiwan Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan on Monday claimed China is targeting the island with around 1,500 Dong Feng-16 (DF-16) missiles, The Daily Star reports.
Speaking to lawmakers on Monday Feng said the missiles will bolster the “weapons modernization and military hard power” of China.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force has deployed DF-16 ballistic missiles, capable of conducting precise strikes on Taiwan proper, Taipei’s Ministry of National Defense said.
It said recent events indicate that Beijing is seeking to stir up domestic discontent in Taiwan by increasing its military activities to force Taipei to fall in line with its cross-strait policy.
Feng cited China’s first and only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, passing through the first island chain in international waters off eastern Taiwan in December last year, as well as retired Chinese military officers’ repeated warnings about the risks of military conflict across the Taiwan Strait.
Responding to a question from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Shih-fang about Taiwan’s ability to intercept and counter DF-16 missiles, Feng said the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile systems can meet the task.
“As the DF-16 is released at a high altitude and targets a single area, we are able to counter the missile as it passes through the atmosphere,” Feng said.