Taiwan Urgently Needs to Develop Asymmetric Defense Capabilities to Deter China, Pentagon Says

© REUTERS / Stephen LamA demonstrator holds flags of Taiwan and the United States in support of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during an stop-over after her visit to Latin America in Burlingame, California, U.S., January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo
A demonstrator holds flags of Taiwan and the United States in support of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during an stop-over after her visit to Latin America in Burlingame, California, U.S., January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Taiwan’s ability to protect itself from Chinese military threats requires the island to quickly develop asymmetric defenses that could include deployments of cruise missiles and naval mines, Assistant Defense Secretary for the Indo-Pacific region Ely Ratner said in a congressional testimony.
While many details of Taiwan's military plans are classified, Ratner said the United States is taking a more proactive approach in supporting Taiwan’s efforts by working with officials on defense concepts and doctrines.
“Without question, bolstering Taiwan’s self-defenses is an urgent task and an essential feature of deterrence,” Ratner told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. “We therefore appreciate that President Tsai has prioritized the development of asymmetric capabilities for Taiwan’s self-defense that are credible, resilient, mobile, distributed, and cost effective.”
As examples of asymmetric defenses, Ratner cited defensive cruise missiles, short- and mid-range air defenses, defensive naval mines and advanced command, control, intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities.
Ratner also emphasized the importance of US allies and partners in the region such as Japan, South Korea and Australia, which he said provides Washington with “perhaps the biggest strategic advantage” in military competition with Beijing.
Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have surged in recent months, with China sending military aircraft on sorties into Taiwan's air-defense zone.
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