Monday, October 22, 2007

Weapons of Mass Distraction

The flow of nonsense stories to divert public attention from the pan-Blue cuts of the missile budget continued apace, with the China Times, closely affiliated with the KMT, reporting that Taiwan was going to purchase US cruise missiles....

Fielding questions at the Legislative Yuan, Lee said he had no knowledge about the allegation published by the Taipei-based China Times Monday that the U.S. government might consider selling the all-weather submarine or ship-launched land-attack BGM-109 Tomahawk missile to Taiwan.

The China Times reported that in a bid to discourage Taiwan from continuing putting money into the research and development of its own land attack cruise missile, the Hsiung Feng-2E -- the latest version of Taiwan's domestically developed missile -- the U.S. military authorities might consider selling Tomahawks to Taiwan.

The proposed sale is aimed at forcing Taiwan to abandon the NT$34.6 billion (US$1.06 billion) project to develop and mass produce Hsiung Feng-2E missiles, the daily claimed.

Lee said the United States has not sold BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles to any other country.

He added sarcastically that he is "grateful" that some media outlet has "made such an excellent arrangement" for Taiwan's military to beef up its defense capability.

Sure. The US will sell Taiwan Tomahawks, but not F-16s.... Another paper closely linked to the KMT, United Daily News, not to be outdone, published an article claiming that Taiwan is developing a graphite bomb to take out the Chinese transmission grid:

The newspaper claims that Taiwan, which is still dubbed a "renegade province" by China, is working on a graphite bomb similar to one the U.S. reportedly used against Serbia in 1999.

The so-called "blackout bombs" would be carried by Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles to paralyze power systems of China's southeastern coastal cities, the United Daily News said.

The bombs work by sprinkling a cloud of chemically treated carbon fibers over power supplies, causing them to short-circuit, but without killing people.

If approved by parliament, the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, Taiwan's top arms research unit, would begin research and development of the weaponry at a cost of up to 5.34 million dollars, beginning next year, according to the report.

Taiwan's defense ministry declined to comment on the claims.

Later reports from DPA appeared to confirm the story, attributing quotes to the head of Taiwan's military logistics and supply:

But the military denied that it would use the bomb on China.

'The development is to facilitate us in evaluating how serious the damage (would be,) should a city suffer from such an attack,' said Wu Wei-jung, head of the Military Supplies and Logistics Department under Taiwan's Defence Ministry.

He said Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology under the ministry is developing the weapon solely for research purposes.

His comments came after local news media reported that the island is developing a non-lethal graphite bomb to paralyze the power supply system of rival China in the event of a war between the two rival sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The local United Daily News said the bomb development project would start in 2008. The daily also said the military planned to use its recently developed Hsiung Feng 2E missile to carry the bomb. The missile has a range of at least 600 kilometres, capable of reaching Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Taiwan News also confirmed the reports:

Wu made the remarks in reply to an inquiry by opposition Kuomintang Legislator Lee Ching-hua, who quoted a Sunday United Daily News report as saying that the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology -- Taiwan's top arms research unit -- will begin developing the submunitions at a cost of up to NT$500 million (US$15.34 million), from next year.

An even better distraction: a true story! That military effects of a graphite bomb are not necessarily so wonderful -- the UDN account fails to inform that Serbian power supplies were out only 24 hours -- but as distractions from the pan-Blue failure to appropriate funds for Taiwan's defense, they are first-rate weapons....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is this opinon on Forbes by Robert Ross, "For China, How To Manage Taiwan?"

It's #^%@#$!@!$%#!!?????