MND dismisses mass production of medium-range missiles report


TAIPEI–The Ministry of National Defense (MND) dismissed a media report yesterday that the military will start mass production of medium-range missiles in 2014, saying that “it is by no means true.” The ministry said in a news release that it regretted that a local newspaper ran the unsubstantiated report.

The ministry said Taiwan’s research and development of major weaponry for the military has long been a focus of Chinese intelligence and a point of interest for the local and international communities.

Disclosure by political figures or journalists of related information undermines national security, the ministry said. “If the contents they disclose are not true, this could lead to misjudgment by the local and international communities, and cause trouble and unease,” the MND said.

The MND stressed that political figures and journalists should deal carefully with military issues to avoid affecting national security.

At issue was a media report by the China Times that day citing military sources as saying that Yunfeng (cloud peak) missiles developed by the military’s Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology will start mass production next year.

The report said around 50 of the surface-to-surface missiles will be produced in the initial stage. They will have a range of more than 1,000 km and will serve as counter-strike weapons, targeting missile bases and airports in China’s coastal areas. They will not target nonmilitary targets such as densely populated Shanghai.