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Taiwan to produce 300 cruise missiles: report

The Hsiungfeng 2E can be launched on land or at sea and is capable of hitting airports and missile bases in southeast China, as well as cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Oct 27, 2008
Taiwan plans to manufacture up to 300 cruise missiles, despite warming ties with rival China, it was reported Monday.

"President Ma Ying-jeou has given the order for the production of 300 Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles," the Taipei-based China Times said, citing what it said was an unnamed authoritative military source.

However, the paper said it was not clear when the missiles would be put into service.

Taiwan's defence ministry declined to comment on the report.

The paper said Hsiungfeng 2E, which was developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of around 600 kilometres (375 miles).

The missile could be launched on land or at sea, the paper said, and would be capable of hitting airports and missile bases in southeast China, as well as cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing views the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence.

However, tensions across the Taiwan Strait have eased since Beijing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou was elected as president in March vowing to boost the economy and improve ties with China.

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