Europe Divided Over China Arms Sales

Europe Divided Over China Arms Sales
Britain is on a collision course with the European Union over the sale of arms to China. Since the Beijing government crackdown on protestors in Tiananmen Square in 1989, EU member states have been banned from selling goods that could be used by the Chinese military.
China’s new J-20 stealth fighter roars along the runway and takes to the skies, the maiden test-flight of a plane designed to rival the United States’ radar-eluding aircraft.
Images of the flight, leaked on the Internet and subsequently confirmed as genuine by the Beijing government, have focused attention on China’s military modernization.
The European Union banned the sale of military technology to China following the crackdown on dissidents in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
But Alexander Neill of analyst group the Royal United Services Institute says China’s growing financial influence in Europe is starting to tell.
"EU member states certainly feel pressured by China given the economic contagion, which seems to be spreading through the EU at the moment,” Neill said. “Many national leaders, I am sure, will think twice about how they engage the Chinese on investment, which is essentially bailing them out of elements of their economic doldrums."
Beijing has just signed a series of multi-billion-dollar deals with European companies. China says it is also prepared to buy up to $7.9 billion of Spanish government debt at a time of heightened fears over the future of the euro currency.
Many EU leaders, including the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, have suggested it is time the arms export ban to China was revised.
Britain, while welcoming its own slice of Chinese investment, is at odds with EU countries that want to repeal the embargo."The U.K.’s position remains exactly as it has been over the last few years, which is now is not the right time to lift the ban," Neill stated.
Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Washington earlier this month and sought to calm fears over China’s investment in its military. He says China does not engage in arms races or pose a military threat to any country and will never seek hegemony or pursue an expansionist policy.
Despite military spending estimated at $78 billion in 2010, Alexander Neill says China’s armed forces still lag behind. "But there are areas of concern where China has managed to play catch-up with the United States,” he said. “Particularly in its high-tech and asymmetric capabilities."
China’s J-20 stealth fighter is an example of such high-tech advances.

Germany to take fewer A400M planes

Germany to take fewer A400M planes
Germany will take delivery of only 40 of the 53 Airbus A400M military transport planes it has ordered, the parliamentary budget committee decided Wednesday, in a further blow to the troubled project.
Deputies signed off on the revised project, which will see Germany maintain its order of 53 planes but then sell on 13 of them to another client, a parliamentary source said.
There was no mention of the potential buyer for the unwanted planes in Germany's order but Airbus Military will be charged with selling them on.
Juergen Koppelin, the parliament's defence budget rapporteur, had announced the changes Tuesday.
Seven countries have ordered 180 of the aircraft for 20 billion euros (27 billion dollars) from European plane maker Airbus but the project is three years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget.
It has been marred by setbacks, with the aircraft's first flight postponed to an undetermined date because of engine problems.
Airbus, a unit of the the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), was supposed to get the transport plane in the air in January 2008.
It is the second time in three months that Germany has sought to cut its complement of A400Ms. In November, it reduced its firm order from 60 planes to the current 53.
Last November, the seven NATO countries -- Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg -- reached an agreement on financing 5.2 billion euros of cost overruns but a definitive deal has yet to be signed.

NATO, Russia Meet at Odds over Missile Shield

NATO, Russia Meet at Odds over Missile Shield


NATO and Russian military brass went into talks Wednesday, bound in outrage over terrorism after Moscow's airport bombing, but at odds over cooperation on a missile shield for Europe.
Russian General Nikolai Makarov flew into Brussels to meet with fellow chiefs of staff from the 28-nation alliance in the latest step in thawing ties between the former Cold War foes following Russia's 2008 war with Georgia.
The NATO-Russia Council, the forum for discussion between the two military powers, issued a statement condemning Monday's "terrorist bombing" at Domodedovo airport.
"Our countries stand together in the fight against terrorism, and we are determined to expedite our efforts to counter this scourge," the statement said.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who has championed better ties, had already offered the Western alliance's "solidarity" after the death of 35 people in the suicide attack.
"We are in this fight together," he said after Monday's blast. "This is why in the NATO-Russia Council we have to strengthen our cooperation in the fight against terrorism."
Wednesday's talks follow a landmark Lisbon summit in November, when Russia agreed to allow NATO to transport more goods to Afghanistan through its territory, and explore the possibility of working with the Western alliance on the missile defence system.
NATO decided at Lisbon to deploy radars and missile interceptors to protect Europe from rogue attacks, and invited Moscow to cooperate in the project to ease Russian fears that the system was aimed against its nuclear deterrent.
But the military powers have since then offered differing visions about the shield, with NATO insisting on keeping two independent systems and Russia calling for a "sectoral" system, in which each side would shoot down missiles coming from a certain geographic area.
"We don't really get what the Russians really want," a NATO official told AFP. "I find it surprising they think we want one system. It's too big a jump."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev this week called on NATO to provide a clear answer over his country's role in the European missile shield, warning that Moscow could deploy more nuclear weapons if it was left out of the umbrella.
"Our partners have to understand that we do not want this simply to have some common toys that NATO and we can play with, but because we want adequate protection for Russia," Medvedev said in televised remarks on Monday.
"So this is not a joking matter. We expect from our NATO partners a direct and unambiguous answer," said Medvedev, who has demanded an equal role for Russia in the US-European missile project.
Rasmussen, in a video blog last week, said the two systems should remain separate but could cooperate by sharing information and developing "potential synergies".
"The vision of the alliance is for two independent but coordinated systems working back to back," Rasmussen said.
The meeting of Russian and NATO military chiefs came the same day that Russia gave final approval to a nuclear disarmament treaty with the United States, a major step in Washington's own "reset" of relations with Moscow.
"I also hope that political momentum generated by this treaty will help Allies and Russia to make concrete progress in their strategic partnership, including in the field of missile defence," Rasmussen said.

US pledges help for Philippine navy


US pledges help for Philippine navy



The United States said Thursday it would help boost the Philippines' capacity to patrol its waters as part of a larger goal of keeping vital Asian sea lanes open amid the rise of China.
The pledge came from US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell on the first day of an inaugural security dialogue between the two allies.
"One of the subjects for discussions tomorrow will be the bilateral steps that (we) can take to increase the Philippines' maritime capacity," Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said.
This would enhance the Philippine navy's capacity to police its waters, he told a joint news conference.
"We think this is a critical component of our partnership. Much of this work is already underway and we seek to intensify it in the months and years ahead," he said without giving details.
The US had key air and naval bases in the Philippines until 1992, when the Philippine senate rejected a new treaty.
The US ruled the Philippines as colonial power from 1901 to 1946 and the two countries remain linked by a 1951 mutual defence pact.
In recent years, as China's economic influence grew in the region, its new-found political assertiveness saw it come in dispute with its neighbours over claims to areas of the South China Sea.
China, Taiwan and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all claim the potentially oil-rich Spratly chain of islands in the South China Sea.
The area is also one of the world's most important shipping lanes.
"I think there's a broad recognition that this is a critical waterway, and its criticality will likely increase in the times ahead," Campbell said.
While China has asserted that the disputes must be settled directly between itself and rival claimants, Campbell repeated the US position that a broader framework was better.
"We think maritime issues should be addressed in larger settings as well, and we think that's important in order to develop confidence on these issues and the larger Asia-Pacific region," he said.

Boeing Flies First CH-47F for Dutch Air Force


.Boeing Flies First CH-47F for Dutch Air Force


Representatives of Boeing, its suppliers and the Netherlands Ministry of Defence marked the first flight of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) CH-47F (NL) Chinook heavy-lift helicopter in a ceremony Jan. 25 at Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del.
The aircraft made its first flight on Dec. 8 and is scheduled to complete its flight test program in August after approximately 100 flight hours. There are two aircraft in flight test.
The RNLAF has ordered six CH-47F (NL) Chinooks to enhance its current fleet of 11 CH-47D (NL) aircraft. The new Chinooks are equipped with survivability equipment, a forward-looking infrared system, and fast rope positions, which will be used to support Special Forces operations. The engines will include air particle separators for operation in harsh environments. These additions will make the RNLAF CH-47F a versatile, multi-role aircraft for worldwide operations.
Boeing expects to begin delivering the aircraft later this year, making the RNLAF the first international customer to field the new CH-47F.
The flight tests have included assessments of the advanced operational capabilities enabled by the aircraft’s Avionics Control and Management System cockpit and newly integrated Digital Automatic Flight Control System. By the conclusion of the tests, the aircraft will be certified airworthy by the Netherlands Military Aviation Authority.
“The Chinook has over the years proven itself to be a true workhorse for the Netherlands Air Force,” said Air Commodore Theo ten Haaf, Commanding Officer Defence Helicopter Command of the RNLAF. “The aircraft proved to be 'the right tool’ for a difficult and challenging job, especially in austere environments and during the combined air and ground operations in Afghanistan. Both ground troops and aircrew speak highly of it.”
He added, “The CH-47F is a major improvement over the 47D model. The arrival of these new aircraft in the RNLAF will ensure that the RNLAF continues to operate with the best in the field of tactical transport helicopter operations both now and in the future.”
“Our goal is to use available technology to provide customers with the best solutions while enabling long-term sustainability,” said Leanne Caret, H-47 Programs vice president for Boeing. “We have a long-standing relationship with the Netherlands and this new aircraft is another example of our focus on providing advanced solutions to meet our customers’ growing demands.”
The Netherlands MOD and Boeing also are evaluating a potential upgrade of the current CH-47D (NL) Chinook fleet to the new CH-47F (NL) configuration.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 66,000 employees worldwide.

Russia to offer Turkey advanced surface-to-air missiles






Russia is ready to participate in a tender to offer Turkey S-300 and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, the state-controlled arms exporter said on Wednesday.
"The Turkish military has a great need for S-300 and S-400 long-range missile defense systems," Rosoboronexport CEO Anatoly Isaikin said. "Russia has expressed its readiness to participate in a tender for the delivery of such systems."
He said leading SAM manufacturers from Western countries would participate in the tender "on a par with Russia.
"
He gave no indication as to what specific SAM modifications would be offered or the timeframe for the tender.
Turkish military experts have said Ankara is interested in the Russian missiles, which could effectively protect the country's southern borders.
The advanced version of the S-300 missile system, called S-300PMU1, has a range of over 150 kilometers (over 100 miles) and can intercept ballistic missiles and aircraft at low and high altitudes, making it effective in warding off air strikes.
The S-300V/Antey 2500 (SA-12 Gladiator/Giant) consists of a new command vehicle, an array of advanced radars and up to six loader vehicles assigned to each launcher.
The S-400 (SA-21 Growler) is capable of simultaneously engaging six targets to a range of 400 km (250 miles) and an altitude up to 30 kilometers, including aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles.

Turkey To Buy 9 European A129 Attack Helicopters



IANKARA - Turkey will launch urgent talks to buy nine A129 Mangusta attack helicopters from the Italian-British manufacturer AgustaWestland to fight separatist Kurds operating in an area near the country's borders with Iraq and Iran, a key Turkish official announced late Tuesday.


"In an effort to meet the urgent needs of the Turkish Land Forces Command and as part of the ongoing attack helicopter program, negotiations for the procurement of an additional nine attack helicopters will be launched with TUSAS," Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul told reporters after a meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee, Turkey's highest decision-making body on procurement.
TUSAS is the Turkish name for the Turkish Aerospace Industries, the prime contractor in Ankara's program to jointly manufacture at least 50 attack helicopters with AgustaWestland. The nine helicopters will come in addition to the 50 choppers to be jointly manufactured. The additional nine gunships to be procured are A129 Mangustas, a senior procurement official said.
The Defense Industry Executive Committee's members include Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Gonul, Gen. Ilker Basbug, chief of the General Staff, and Murad Bayar, head of Turkey's procurement agency. .
Bayar's office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, and AgustaWestland signed a multibillion-dollar contract in 2008 for joint production of 50 T129s, a Turkish version of the A129.
The Kurdish separatist group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has killed scores of soldiers since it stepped up attacks on Turkish targets in the spring.
The Turkish Army operates six AH-1W Super Cobras and more than 20 earlier model Cobra helicopters, and military officials in recent years have voiced an urgent need for additional gunships to fight the PKK.
The T129s are expected to become operational by 2014. The latest announcement for additional gunships represents a stopgap solution until the first deliveries.

Baykar Malazgirt Mini Helicopter UAV


Basic Features:
Rotor Span: 1.8 meters
Length: 1.2 meters
Range: 20 Km
Operational Altitude: 3600 ft
Maximum Altitude: 12000 ft
Endurance (Gasoline Engine/ Electric Motor): 90 / 35 Min.
Payload:

* Day Camera System
* Thermal Camera System
* 2 Axis Stabilization System
* Precise Target Coordinate Estimation

Communication System:

* Digital Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Telemetry and Telecommand Data Link
* Video Link System

Turkish troops enter Iraq after deadly Kurd rebel attacks


Arbil, Iraq: Turkish forces pushed into northern Iraq on Sunday, killing four people, including a 15-year-old girl, as they hit back against hideouts of Kurdish rebels who killed 12 soldiers in the deadliest spell of violence in two years.
The ground incursion into Iraq came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to fight the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) "to the end" and PKK spokesman Ahmed Denis hit back with a threat to attack cities across Turkey if the army did not halt its policy of confrontation.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, himself a Kurd, criticised the "unilateral" Turkish action and called on Erdogan's government to return to peaceful efforts to woo Turkey's large Kurdish minority away from violence.
By morning, the troops had advanced 10 kilometres (six miles) into Iraqi territory in the Qandil mountains where the rebels maintain a network of rear bases in their 26-year-old armed campaign for self-rule in southeastern Turkey, the Iraqi Kurdish security official said.
Turkish troops were operating in the mountains north of the town of Sidikan in Arbil province, one of three that make up the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq, the official said.
Turkish fire killed a 15-year-old girl and wounded her mother and two-year-old brother in Khwakurq village, Sidikan district commissioner Ahmed Qader told AFP.
As Turkish forces advanced into Iraqi territory during the night they killed another three people, a security official said, without specifying whether the dead were civilians or PKK fighters.
Inside Turkey, the rebels kept up their attacks, killing one soldier and wounding another, bringing the military's losses in the past two days to 12, Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported.
The new casualties came as the Turkish premier joined other dignitaries in the eastern city of Van to honour the 11 soldiers who died on Saturday -- the bloodiest single day for the army since 2008.
"We are not going to slide into defeatism... we are going fight on to the end," Erdogan said at the televised ceremony.
The death toll prompted indignation among ordinary Turks, with many cultural and sporting events cancelled in mourning. Around 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Istanbul, chanting: "An eye for an eye."
On Monday morning, Turkish President Abdullah Gul is to chair a meeting of top political and military chiefs to discuss the upsurge in violence, Anatolia news agency reported.
Last year, Erdogan had announced a new policy of boosting Kurdish freedoms and investment in the country's impoverished southeast.
But it has faltered amid an opposition outcry that Ankara is bowing to the PKK, as well as persistent rebel attacks and a judicial onslaught on Kurdish activists.
The Iraqi foreign minister called for a return to the previous policy.
"This initiative is a wise one and needs to be embraced, enhanced and translated into action as the best solution for this age-old problem," Zebari told AFP in an interview.
"Of course we do not condone or support any cross-border terrorist attacks by the PKK," he stressed, adding that nonetheless "no country should resort to unilateral action."
Zebari said he feared Turkey was stepping up its incursions and air raids as the clock ticks down to an August 31 deadline for Washington to pull out 38,000 of its remaining 88,000 troops in Iraq.
"I personally believe the reason they are escalating these attacks now is to test the will of the Iraqi government, and also the American forces, as a prelude to the withdrawal of US combat forces in August," Zebari said.
"We are capable of filling the vacuum and we will not allow any other countries to step in to fill that vacuum."
Sunday's Turkish ground incursion was the second in five days and went far deeper than the previous incursion on Wednesday when troops advanced just a few kilometres (miles) before withdrawing.
The conflict with the PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by much of the international community, has killed more than 45,000 people since it broke out in 1984, according to the Turkish army.

Turkish Aviation Programs-Tiha Male UAV Block-A



Tiha Male UAV Block-A
* Service ceiling: 30,000 ft
* Endurance: 24 hours
* Cruise speed: >75 kts
* LOS communication range: >200 km
The UAV will have a 10m (33ft) all-composite fuselage, detachable low-mounted wing with a span of 17.3m and a detachable V-tail with a span of 4.5m.
Maximum take-off weight is 1,500kg (3,300lb) including provision for a 200kg payload and 250kg of fuel.
Initial payload elements will comprise a daylight camera, thermal imager, laser designator, and synthetic-aperture radar with ground moving-target identification capability. Weaponization will be studied in the production phase.
The TIHA will have a pusher propeller configuration and a cruise speed of around 75kt (140km/h), service ceiling of 30,000ft and 24h endurance.

Baykar Makina Caldiran Tactical UAV's


Specifications:

Wing Span: 9m
Length: 5.5 m
Cruise Speed: 70 Knots
Endurance: 10 Hours
Communication Range: 150 Km

Features:
- Automatic Taxi
- Automatic Take Off
- Automatic Flight
- Automatic Landing
- Cross Redundant Software & Architecture
- Automatic Return Home & Landing in Case of Lost Comm.
Ground Control Station System (Cross Redundant Architecture)

* Real Time Command / Control
* Multi Display Feature
* Pilot Console Unit
* Copilot Console Unit
* Ground Control Unit
* Ground Data Terminal Unit
* Automatic Tracking Antenna System




Flight Control System:

* Automatic Guidance / Navigation
* INS/GPS Navigation Capability
* Kinematic Model Based Stochastic Filtering Algorithms
* Automatic Landing Feature With Onboard Sensor Fusion Algorithms
* Automatic Fuel Management Balancing Feature
* Redundant Sensor Units (Pitot Static, GPS, IMU etc)
* Fully Automatic Control From Taxi to Landing

U.S Bypasses Turkey For Withdrawal Of Heavy Weapons And Troops From Iraq


The United States does not intend to pull out heavy equipment and weapons from Iraq through Turkish territory, though the U.S. military has been seeking Turkish permission for the transportation of some noncombat equipment, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said Saturday.

  Though we certainly rely on Turkey's infrastructure to move some equipment in and out of our area of operations, we do not transport weapons through Turkey, nor do we intend to in the future, Mullen said in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

   Mullen, who made a brief visit to Ankara to meet Turkey's new Chief of General Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner, said the United States has moved 38,000 pieces of rolling stock and over two million other pieces of equipment out of Iraq safely. He added "certainly none of the military equipment, and none of the people have come through Turkey."

   Meanwhile, Mullen said the current agreement between the United States and Iraq was to withdraw all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

   "We have withdrawn almost 100,000 troops under the current agreement, we would do the same over the next 15 or 16 months. No decisions have been made in terms of how to do that," he noted.

  On Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal had said the Turkish government, in principle, looked favorably on the passage of U.S. weaponless equipment and technical materials.

Turkey to Design, Produce its Own Jet Fighter Aircraft


  
ANKARA: Turkey has tossed aside plans to purchase the Eurofighter Typhoon and is pursuing an ambitious endeavor to design and produce its own fighter jet instead. The decision, announced by Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, is seen as not only an industrial move, but one aimed at boosting national pride with its “Made in Turkey” fighter.

“The decision we have taken now calls for the production of a totally national and original aircraft,” Gonul told reporters last week after a meeting of the powerful Defense Industry Executive Committee decided to nix plans to purchase 60 of the latest Typhoon jet fighters. “This move by the committee effectively is a decision for making Turkey’s first fighter aircraft,” Gonul said. “The Eurofighter is off Turkey’s agenda.”

According to reports, the new aircraft would replace the aging US-made F-4, which had been upgraded by Israel to last well into the next decade, as well as newer F-16s. The expected roll out date for Turkey’s twin-engine combat jet would reportedly be about 2023.

Ankara has already announced it plans to procure some 100 of the next-generation F-35s Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in a deal worth about $15 billion. The first JSF jets are expected to be delivered around 2015. According to Defense News, however, Turkey would take the approximately 30 F-16 fighters only as a “stopgap” measure.

The decision to fly solo in developing a fighter jet comes as Turkey distances itself from its North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners in Europe and North America, and seeks closer ties with its Middle Eastern neighbors. In November, Turkey disputed NATO plans for a missile shield against a possible Iranian attack and has objected to the alliance sharing information with Israel.
Turkey assembles the F-16s on contract from Lockheed Martin at a Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) plant. The government named state-controlled TAI, based on the outskirts of Ankara, as the general coordinator of the new fighter jet project. The Turkish Defense Industry’s Procurement agency SSM has allotted some $20 million for a two-year conceptual design study.

“It’s a large endeavor. I’m skeptical that they would be able to do the project on their own since Turkey didn’t have the adequate technological know-how,” said one aerospace executive intimately involved with the design and production of the Israeli fighter jet Lavi in the 1980s.

“But it’s not just technological know-how. Developing a fighter jet requires billions and billions of dollars. It’s certainly not the same as assembling an aircraft. It takes a very long time to develop the technology and then you need to have the influx of funding to bring it all together,” the executive, who spoke on condition he not be named, told The Media Line.

Turkish industry officials told The Media Line that the government decision didn’t make sense. Turkey was currently so heavily engaged in joint international aircraft design projects such as the F-35 that it wouldn’t be feasible to embark on such a costly and risky venture, the officials said.
While hardly world class, the Turkish defense industry is growing and modernizing. But it remains dependent on foreign technology. TAI has designed the Hurkus, a basic training aircraft, but it has yet to make its maiden flight. It has also rolled out an unmanned aerial vehicle this year called the ANKA.

“Development is very, very expensive. Israel was a small country without a big defense budget. Even when we had the infrastructure we decided to give up on it because it was just too expensive,” the executive said, adding that any development today would likely be more successful with international partners.

Israel eventually scrapped the Lavi — built to be a competitor with the F-16 –under heavy US pressure and from a lack of funds.
Defense Minister Gonul said Turkey might cooperate with South Korea, which was developing the KF-X fighter jet with Indonesia. However, that project has sputtered due to lack of funding.

Turkish- Chinese Conducted a Joint Aerial Exercise



Turkish and Chinese militaries recently conducted a joint aerial exercise in central Anatolia, the first such exercise involving the air forces of NATO member Turkey and China.

The joint exercise was part of Turkey’s Anatolian Eagle maneuvers, which have so far been carried out jointly with US, other NATO countries and Israel. They took place sometime this month in the central Anatolian province of Konya, where Anatolian Eagle maneuvers traditionally take place. Turkish F-16s and Chinese SU-27s and Russian-made MIG-29s took part in the joint exercise, staging a mock dogfight in central Anatolian airspace. The exercise comes ahead of a planned visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Turkey next month, which officials say will boost relations to a new level. The two sides are expected to sign several agreements on economic and cultural cooperation during the Chinese prime minister’s visit.

Turkey has recently modified its security policy, removing neighbors from a list of countries considered as threats to national security.

Turkey's Next Generation Anti Tanks Missile


The Medium Range Antitank Missile that will be deployed by Land Forces Units in order to eliminate or stop Armored and Mechanised enemy units is designed by ROKETSAN. The weapon system is developed to be used on a tripod or a land vehicle. It will also provide the user direct and top attack modes, fire-and-forget and fire-and-update firing modes, which can be selected on the weapon system before firing. 

MRAT could also be fired in confined spaces without harming the user.
Inheriting the technology of LRAT, with which it belongs to the same family, MRAT will be equipped with an Imaging Infrared Seeker and will be deployable in day and night and adverse weather conditions, in addition to its capability to update target or hit point with its two-way RF Data Link. In order to increase the hit probability, MRAT also has lock-on after launch capability, and in this mode a mid-course guidance provided by MEMS based Inertial Measurement Unit will be used.

Turkey’s First Indigenous MALE-class Anka UAV Takes To the Skies


  



Turkey’s first national MALE-class (medium altitude long endurance) unmanned aerial vehicle, dubbed “Anka” after an Anatolian bird, made its maiden flight without much of a publicity just before the New Year’s Day, TRDEFENCE sources reported on Sunday.
Anka is vastly superior to its competition (such as the Heron of Israeli origin) in the same category thanks to its heavier payload capacity, long flight time of 24 hours, higher flight ceiling and state-of-the-art electrooptical instruments that include Aselsan’s next-generation AselFLIR 300T, laser target designator and an indigenously developed synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can detect, identify and track targets day and night, beyond thick layers of cloud, dust and smoke.
Anka also carries on-board artificial intelligence that enables the aircraft to fly autonomously without the requirement for remote human assistance, find allied airbases in the event of an emergency and land automatically.


An armed version of the aircraft, codenamed Anka-B, is currently under development in Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with further funding from Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, SSM. Reports indicate that Anka-B’s modular weapons architecture will be able to carry Roketsan-developed Cirit laser guided rockets, UMTAS anti-tank missiles and/or other compatible weapon systems depending on the assigned mission.

Anka features low radar observatibility courtesy of its thin profile, carbon composite structures that minimize the usage of highly reflective metal components as well as its aerodynamically efficient design.
The first Anka is expected to be commissioned by TurAF in 2011 with the armed Anka-B following it up in 2013.

Gates defends arms sales to Taiwan


Washington: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended US arms sales to Taipei on Wednesday, citing China's "extraordinary" deployment of cruise and ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan.
Both Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged concern over China's suspension of military contacts with the United States because of the arms sales.

But the secretary said the US arms sales were in keeping with the Taiwan Relations Act, and suggested the improvement in relations between Beijing and Taipei had not diminished the need for them.
"We certainly applaud the growing links between Taiwan and the Peoples Republic," he said.
"Another piece of that is the extraordinary Chinese deployment of all manner of cruise and ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan on the Chinese side of the strait," he added.
"So that's a reality that goes along with the growing other links between the two."
Gates was pressed on the question by Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democrat of California, who was in China last week and said that in meetings with Chinese leaders she was told they had offered to "redeploy" forces threatening toTaiwan.
"Now, I understand the word 'redeploy' isn't 'remove.' And I understand the nature of what's there and the number of troops," she said.
"However, I think that the most important thing we can do right now is establish some military-to-military contact," she said.
Gates said the United States was concerned about China's growing missile, cyber and anti-satellite capabilities, which he said made a strategic dialogue between the two countries all the more important.
Mullen echoed that view, saying China "is increasingly opaque, and these dialogues are absolutely critical to try to understand each other."
"Each time, at least from my perspective, each time it gets turned off, it gets turned off by the Chinese, and then we will go through a period of time where we have no relationship," he said.
The admiral noted that the United States has had no relations with Iran since 1979, "and look where we are."
"And so if I use that as a model, that's certainly not one that we can afford as a country or as a military with China as China continues to grow," he said.

Taiwan Deploys Sky Bow Strike Missile


TAIPEI, Taiwan: Taiwan deployed a surface-to-surface version of its Sky Bow 2 air defense missile on Dongyin, an outlying island near mainland China. Taiwan has held several islands near the mainland since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Taipei has a Sky Bow (Tien Kung) missile battery on the island outfitted with Sky Bow IIB surface-to-surface missiles. These missiles have a range of 600 kilometers, enabling them to strike targets as far away as Shanghai. Now, Taiwanese legislators are considering withdrawing troops from Dongyin in an effort to improve relations with China. Taipei could withdraw these missiles to convince China to remove its own ballistic missile force within striking range of Taiwan.
In addition to the missiles, Taiwan maintains a military force of more than 3,000 servicemen on Dongyin. Taiwan also has land-based anti-ship missiles with a range of 150 kilometers deployed on the island.

Taiwan’s military simulates Chinese air attack


Hualien, Taiwan: Taiwan's military Tuesday lifted the veil on how it would respond to a massive Chinese air attack, showing that the island still takes the risk of war very seriously despite improving ties.

Journalists were invited for the first time to a drill simulating aerial assaults on Taiwan's major air bases and testing the military's ability to recover quickly from such a shock.
The manoeuvres, staged at a military air base near Hualien city in eastern Taiwan, played out a scenario in which runways were bombed by waves of bombers or missiles from the mainland.
"The drill is aimed to test our ability to repair runways as soon as possible so that fighter jets can take off should the air base be attacked," air force spokesman Lieutenant General Pan Kung-hsiao told reporters.
The exercise involved hundreds of troops, some operating heavy engineering equipment such as bulldozers, hydraulic shovels and bomb disposal engines.
Pilots and logistic supply staff also demonstrated emergency procedures for four French-made Mirage fighter jets, which were ready for take-off six minutes after being scrambled.
Military analysts say any Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be preceded by saturation air bombardment meant to wipe out civilian and military airports and key government facilities and paralyse transportation systems.
Tuesday's exercise came after a Chinese flotilla, including two submarines and eight other ships, conducted drills in the East China Sea near Okinawa and then moved to the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese media.
The appearance of the Chinese fleet -- the largest assembly of Chinese warships ever spotted in the region, according to Japan's defence ministry -- has triggered alarms in Taiwan.
Taiwan's Deputy Defence Minister Chao Shih-chang warned in parliament Monday the operation indicated China was now able to bypass the island's fortified west and attack the island from the east.
Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008, pledging to boost trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists.
But Beijing still maintains it could use force against the island, which it regards as part of its territory since their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Taiwan Renews Push for F-16 Fighter Jets


Taiwan has renewed a drive to buy advanced U.S.-built F-16 fighter aircraft, confronting President Barack Obama with a delicate decision.
Detailing its arms shopping list for the first time since Obama took office, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) said Taiwan's current fighter force was inadequate to a potential threat from China. The largest part of Taiwan's air force, the F-5 fighter, has been in service for more than 34 years, said TECRO's spokesman.

"The planes now are obsolete and spare parts are difficult to obtain," said spokesman, Vance Chang, in an email response to questions about Taiwan's arms requests. China has built increasingly advanced fighters, the statement said, "therefore our air superiority capability is at a serious disadvantage."
"Taiwan's determination to defend itself is indisputable," it added.
Taiwan has been trying for 12 years to buy F-16 C/D models built by Lockheed Martin Corp of Bethesda, Maryland. The U.S. government is required by a 1979 law to provide Taiwan sufficient arms to defend itself.
Successive U.S. administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have managed the weapons flow to minimize fallout with China. In its final years, former President George W. Bush's administration would not even accept a formal request for the advanced F-16s, said the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, which represents about 100 companies, including Lockheed Martin.
The United States "has an obligation to assist Taiwan to maintain a credible defense of its air space, which includes modern fighters," said council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers.
Taiwan wants 66 F-16 C/Ds valued at up to US$4.9 billion to bolster 150 F-16A/B models it bought in 1992.
The State Department had no immediate comment on the statement from TECRO.
In October, the Bush administration notified Congress of possible arms sales to Taiwan of up to US$6.4 billion, including Patriot "Advanced Capability" antimissile batteries, Apache attack helicopters and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
"We were eager to achieve a golden mean - a robust package of arms sales that met Taiwan's immediate defense needs but was not perceived in Beijing as undermining the progress in cross-strait relations," said Dennis Wilder, senior director for East Asian affairs on Bush's White House National Security Council. "I believe we achieved that goal," he added in an email response to Reuters.
TECRO made clear Ma's administration was still seeking UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters built by United Technologies Corp's Sikorsky unit and design work on modern diesel-electric submarines.
These two items were cleared for release to Taiwan by Bush as part of a landmark arms offer in April 2001, but left out of the October notification to Congress. The deals were held up for years, largely by partisan hurdles to funding in Taiwan.
Wilder said the Bush administration had told Taiwan that it was not denying it any of the weapons approved in 2001, but would leave the decision to Obama.

USA Releases Radar Upgrades for Taiwan F-16 jets


The U.S. has announced the sale of new radar upgrades for Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF). The announcement came during a two-day tri-service military exercise in southern Taiwan from Aug. 24-25.

During the exercise, a Ministry of National Defense (MND) source said the radar deal was part of phase two of the IDF's ****-1C/D Hsiang Sheng upgrade program. Specifics of the deal were not released.

The decision to release was made on Aug. 12, but U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley did not make the announcement official until Aug. 24.



"We have notified Congress as required under the Arms Export Control Act of proposed direct commercial sales between Taiwan and private U.S. companies," he said. Asked about China's potential reaction to the release, Crowley said, "I'll let China react to this as they see fit."

As of publication, China's Foreign Ministry had not released a statement.

The radar sale involves the release of three U.S. congressional notifications on hold since a $6 billion arms release to Taiwan in January. Afterward, the White House reportedly decided to freeze all further notifications in an attempt to better ties with China, but the radar release indicates the White House might be re-evaluating its strategy on dealing with China.

The IDF ****-1A/B "Ching-kuo" fighter was developed during the late 1980s to replace aging Lockheed F-104 Starfighters. The state-run Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. built 130 aircraft, which began entering service in 1994.

The U.S. State Department's decision to release the radar upgrades was welcomed by the MND and by Taiwan supporters in Washington, though there was some criticism over policies that have resulted in an on-again off-again freeze on arms sales to Taiwan, said Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president, U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, Washington.

"The recent policy under both the Bush and Obama administrations - freezing Taiwan arms sales notifications and then releasing them as packages - has had the inverse effect of its apparent intent," he said.

"By creating multibillion dollar packages that capture headlines, the policy has increased Chinese ire at such sales rather than reducing it."

He said China has cleverly used the situation as a tool to apply pressure on Washington's policy of arms sales to Taiwan. China unilaterally canceled military exchanges with the U.S. after the January release, and then canceled a planned trip by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to China in June.

"China has rightly deduced that the process is vulnerable to external pressure, and recently applied such pressure by threatening sanctions against American companies and by denying entry to China for U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates," Hammond-Chambers said.

China is employing a carrot-and-stick strategy with Taiwan, offering significant economic incentives with the recently signed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement while continuing military modernization and expanding the material threat represented by the People's Liberation Army, he said.

The U.S. has held Taiwan's request for 66 new F-16C/D Block 50/52 fighters since 2006, but is expecting to release a midlife upgrade package for its F-16A/B Block 20s in early 2011. Taiwan is anxious to replace aging F-5 fighters and high-maintenance Mirage-2000 fighters now slated for retirement.

"The Chinese believe that Taiwan should be denied access to replacement fighters for their aging F-5s and Mirage-2000s, recognizing the serious detrimental effect such a denial would have on Taiwan's military readiness; on long-term American support for Taiwan military modernization; and on the regional view of America and its willingness to make difficult decisions in the face of Chinese opposition," Hammond-Chambers said.

The U.S. Department of Defense is due to submit to the U.S. Congress a second report by the end of 2010 examining the current balance of airpower in the Taiwan Strait and making recommendations for U.S. action. This will include consideration of the impact of replacement fighters for Taiwan's Air Force.

In a separate deal, on Aug. 13, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced a $393,538 contract award to New Jersey-based ITT Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems for the sale of an upgrade and maintenance package for Taiwan's AN/ALQ-165 Airborne Self Protection Jammer and AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasure systems. The U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting agency. Work is expected to be completed in August 2015.

TRI-SERVICE EXERCISE
The Taiwan military displayed and demonstrated a wide array of military equipment and skills during a two-day tri-service exercise in southern Taiwan from Aug. 24-25.

On Aug. 24, the military took reporters to the Chiayi Air Base, 455 Tactical Fighter Wing, to observe an anti-aircraft exercise. The Air Force's 952 Brigade, 501st Battalion, demonstrated the use of the Antelope short-range air defense missile system and the twin 20mm T-82 anti-aircraft guns on four approaching F-16s. The Antelope fires the Tien Chien (Sky Sword) missile, first developed as an air-to-air missile for the IDF. Both are locally developed and produced.

The Army next demonstrated an anti-airborne drill on Penghu Island, off Taiwan's southwest coast. The drill, designed to counter a paratrooper assault on the island, included M-60 main battle tanks and M-113 armored personnel carriers along with infantry. The Penghu Defense Command also has a small air base and naval facility on the island.

The Navy demonstrated mine-clearing capabilities at the Tsoying Naval Base, Kaohsiung, on the second day of the exercise. The Navy allowed the press to board the 500-ton MHC-1303 "Yung Ting" coastal mine hunter to observe the use of a Pinguin B3 remotely operated vehicle to search for a mine. Taiwan bought four MHC vessels from Germany in 1991.

China Warns US Against Selling Taiwan Radars


China objected Friday to a U.S. plan to supply radar equipment to Taiwan's air force, even though the sale was far short of the F-16 fighter jets the island's president urged Washington to provide last week.
U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said earlier this week that the U.S. sale includes "defense services, technical data, and defense articles" for Taiwan's air defense system, and radar equipment for the island's Indigenous Defense Fighter jets.
Crowley did not put a monetary figure on the deal or identify the American companies involved. The U.S. is obligated by its own laws to provide Taiwan defensive weapons.
Beijing opposes any military sales to Taiwan as interference in its internal affairs, and the issue has often strained U.S.-China relations.
"China resolutely opposes the United States selling weapons and relevant technical assistance to Taiwan," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement.
"We urge the United States to ... put an end to arms sales to Taiwan and military ties with Taiwan to avoid causing new harm to Sino-U.S. relations."
Taiwan's Defense Ministry has not commented on the planned sale, but the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, a private advocacy group based in suburban Washington, called it "a small move."
For years the island has been pressing the U.S. to sell it 66 F-16 C/D fighter jets to help counteract a long-standing Chinese military buildup, much of which has been aimed at providing Beijing the wherewithal to invade across the 100-mile- (160-kilometer-) wide Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949 and the mainland still claims the island as part of its territory. It has threatened to attack if democratic Taiwan moves to make its de facto independence permanent.
Earlier this year it suspended defense exchanges with Washington after the U.S. announced it would make available to Taiwan a $6.4 billion weapons package.
Some Taiwanese defense officials fear that the threat of additional Chinese pressure has already convinced Washington to take the F-16 C/D sale off the table.
However, they continue to hope that the Obama administration might agree to a substantial upgrade of the F-16 A/B fighters currently in the island's inventory as a kind of consolation prize.
Last week after the release of a Pentagon report criticizing the secrecy surrounding China's military expansion, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou urged Washington to sell the advanced version of the F16 fighter. Beijing said the report was "not beneficial."
In contrast to F-16s, the Indigenous Defense Fighter at the center of the new radar deal is widely regarded as a relatively unsophisticated aircraft, incapable of holding its own against the fourth generation fighters now in the possession of the Chinese air force.

Taiwan plans to deploy its own Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles by the end of this year


TAIPEI — Taiwan plans to deploy its own cruise missiles by the end of this year, a lawmaker and military pundit said Tuesday, reflecting continued tension with China despite warming ties.
Taiwan began mass producing the Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles after it acquired "key components" needed to manufacture the missiles, and will start deploying them this year, lawmaker Lin Yu-fang told AFP.

Lin, a member of the ruling Kuomintang party, declined to specify the range of the missiles or the number to be put into service.
The defence ministry would not provide details of the sensitive weaponry development project when approached for comment.
A source close to the ministry said the military "has produced at least dozens of cruise missiles."
A top military chief spoke of the need for a military build-up despite the fast warming ties between Taipei and Beijing over the past two years.
"Although tensions between Taipei and Beijing have eased substantially, the Chinese Communists have not renounced the use of force against Taiwan," Lin Chen-yi, chief of the General Staff, told reporters in Taipei.
President Ma Ying-jeou gave an order in 2008 for the production of 300 Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles, according to the Taipei-based China Times.
The paper said Hsiungfeng 2E, which was developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of around 800 kilometres (500 miles).
The institute has spent 2.2 billion Taiwan dollars (68 million US) each year since 2000 on developing the missiles, whose name means Brave Wind, and managed to expand its range from 600 to 800 kilometres, it said.
The missile could be launched on land or at sea, the paper said, adding that it would be capable of hitting airports and missile bases in southeast China, as well as cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Taiwan Confirms Mass Producing Cruise Missiles





Taiwan has confirmed for the first time that it is mass-producing cruise missiles, despite fast warming ties with China.


 "Mass production of indigenous weapons like the ones under the code names of 'Chichun' (Lance Hawk) and 'Chuifeng' (Chasing Wind) is very smooth," Deputy Defence Minister Chao Shih-chang told parliament Wednesday.






"The problems with key parts and components that had previously stalled the manufacturing have been tackled," he said in reply to queries raised by legislator Lin Yu-fang.

The Chichun project refers to the Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missile, Taiwan's answer to the US-made Tomahawk. Chuifeng is a project to develop the island's long-anticipated supersonic anti-ship missile.
Chao declined to specify the range of the missiles or the number to be put into service.

"Surely the cruise missiles will be able to boost Taiwan's self-defence capabilities," Alexdander Huang, a professor of Tamkang University in Taipei, told AFP.







"But that's it. Taiwan is unlikely to use such weapons to take the first strike against the targets on the mainland."

The cruise missiles could be launched from land or sea, and would be capable of hitting airports and missile bases in southeast China, as well as cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong, local media said.

Taiwanese experts estimate China's People's Liberation Army currently has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have eased since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang came to power in 2008 on a platform of beefing up trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists.

However, China still refuses to renounce the possible use of force against the island in its long-stated goal of re-taking Taiwan, which has ruled itself since the end of a civil war in 1949.

The Pentagon said in an annual report to Congress earlier this year that China's military build-up against Taiwan has "continued unabated" despite improving political relations.

Arms Sales and the Future of U.S.-Taiwan-China Relations





The outgoing Bush Administration made an 11th hour decision to notify the U.S. Congress on October 3—a day before Congress went into recess ahead of the groundbreaking November presidential election in the United States—that a raft of arms and weapons systems, which have been effectively frozen since December 2007, will be released for Taiwan. The passage of the arms package provided a temporary reprieve for Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, whose approval rating since assuming office in May has plummeted to 23.6 percent in October (Global View, November 2008). The items released by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, at the value of $6.4 billion, includes: 182 Javelin anti-tank missile; 30 Apache helicopters; four PAC-3 anti-missile batteries; 32 submarine-launched Harpoon missiles; and four E-2T radar plane upgrades. But more noticeable than the items released is the absence of the first phase of 8 diesel-powered submarines, Black Hawk helicopters, and two additional PAC-3 batteries that had been originally sought (United Daily News [Taiwan], October 5, 2008; Defense News, October 6). Taipei also requested 66 F-16 C/D jet fighters to add to its current inventory, but the Bush Administration has not received the letter of request for the reason that it would only process the above-mentioned package at the current stage.



The passage of the arms package was received with a sigh of relief in Taipei, which is concerned about the island's strained relations with the United States,and, had a decision lapsed to the next U.S. president, weary that the package would be approved at all. As expected, Beijing complained bitterly and suspended unspecified military exchange programs with the United States (United Daily News, October 8, 2008), but overall the sale did not upset Sino-U.S. relations, nor did it interrupt the momentum of reconciliatory gestures between the Kuomintang (KMT), the ruling party on Taiwan, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, the scaling-down of the arms package signifies subtle changes in the geopolitical landscape in East Asia, where the shifting center of gravity may affect the long-term interests of the United States and its relations with the nations in the region.


Arms Sale and Taiwan’s Defense

Although the items approved only represent a fraction of Taiwan's request and the value is half of what was originally sought, the package nonetheless improves Taiwan’s defense capability and reduces Taiwan’s widening military disparity vis-à-vis China. However, China’s military is rapidly modernizing, with its military defense budget has increased by double digit for more than 15 years while Taiwan's defense budget has remained low. Therefore, the arms package will be unable to offset the strategic changes in the depth projection of China’s military in the region and encirclement of Taiwan's sovereignty. Among Taiwan’s most cited threats is the People's Liberation Army’s (PLA) deployment of more than 1,000-1,400 short-ranged ballistic missiles (SRBM), which have increased at the rate of 100 per year since 2001. These missiles have been aimed at Taiwan from six missile bases in Lepin, Santow, Fuzhou, Longtien, Huian, and Zhangzhou, spanning three southeastern coastal provinces of Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Fujian [1] (Liberty Times [Taiwan], March 30, 2008). In addition, China has also acquired an estimated 50 advanced submarines, which is more than what military analysts state the PLA needs to blockade the Taiwan Strait. The PLA has also engaged in military exercises and deployments designed to sharpen its defensive capabilities so that even with limited offensive capabilities, China would be able to subdue Taiwan’s defenses in a limited amount of time by denying the access of other maritime powers that may come to Taiwan’s defense [2]. Furthermore, China has—in recent years—ratcheted up its computer-hacking activities against the Taiwanese government's national security-related agencies and has stolen countless sensitive materials (United Daily News, April 8, 2007), so much so that some Taiwanese security officials describe that a "silent war" has already begun.

Friction between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the CCP in the Taiwan Strait was to be expected for two parties whose visions for Taiwan and its relationship with China are diametrically opposed. That the result of Taiwan’s presidential election on March 22 was embraced by the embattled U.S. leadership came as no surprise. The KMT's Ma Ying-jeou appears more conciliatory toward China than his predecessor, Chen Shui-bian of the DPP. Chen stoked tensions in cross-Strait relations prior to the election by advocating that Taiwan join the United Nations as a new member, promoted a national referendum on the issue during the recent presidential election. These tensions have since eased following President Ma's inauguration. Bush Administration officials—in pubic and in private—conveyed satisfaction to see Taiwan’s KMT government and the CCP re-engaged in cross-Strait dialogue, particularly the resumption of the Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF) – Association for the Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) channel, severed by the CCP after former President Lee Teng-hui stated in a major policy speech in 1999 that Taiwan-China relations are “special state-to-state relations.”

Cross-Strait Politics and China’s Legal Warfare against Taiwan

From November 3 to 7, the head of ARATS, Chen Yunlin, serving as China’s special envoy to Taiwan, participated in an unprecedented visit to Taiwan to negotiate cross-Strait aviation, shipping, and food safety agreements. Chen Yunlin’s visit has attracted international attention on the warming relations between a democratic Taiwan and an authoritarian China, and also on a deepening divide in Taiwanese society.

A closer examination of ongoing cross-Strait shuttle diplomacy between the KMT and CCP, and public announcements made by President Ma raises legitimate questions about whether the current trend is in Taiwan’s national interest or for that matter U.S. long-term security interest.

The issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty has always been the focal point of cross-Strait tension, since the PRC claims that Taiwan is a part of China under its interpretation of the “one-China principle.” The Chinese government has engaged in what some analysts call a diplomatic “full-court press,” using a carrot and stick strategy in the form of financial and monetary incentives, to legalize the “one-China principle” in major international organizations and thereby legitimize its claim of sovereignty over Taiwan (Javno, November 16, 2007).

The first such step came in May 2005, when the Chinese government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the World Health Organization (WHO) Secretariat requiring the WHO to seek Chinese approval before Taiwan, under the name “Taiwan, China,” could participate in any WHO-related activities. The second came in the United Nations, which in March 28, 2007, issued a letter from the Secretariat to Nauru stating that, in compliance with the 1972 UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, “the United Nations considers Taiwan for all purposes to be an integral part of the People’s Republic of China.” The third incident was with the OIE (World Organization of Animal Health). In May 2007, Beijing attempted to pass a resolution “recognizing that there is only one China in the world and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China which includes Taiwan,” changing Taiwan’s membership into “non-sovereign regional member,” and using “Taiwan, China” or “Taipei, China” as Taiwan’s official title in this organization.

As these three examples demonstrate, the “one-China principle” has been used by the PRC as a means of waging its “legal warfare” to incorporate Taiwan and to accomplish its bottom-line goal of de jure unification, as explicitly stated by its declared intent to use military force if necessary under the "anti-secession law" of 2005 to “reunify” Taiwan. The examples also illustrate how, if Taipei agrees to the "one-China principle," it may be interpreted as accepting China’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan. Under such pretexts, the government under the DPP had to avoid and even repel the "one-China principle" as the precondition for the resumption of cross-Strait talks. The DPP did this by seeking international support for its counter-position, which led to the standoff in cross-Strait negotiations and showed the world that the "one-China principle" effectively became a non-starter.

These efforts notwithstanding, Ma Ying-jeou in his inaugural address reversed the previous administration's position and accepted the so-called “1992 consensus” as the foundation for cross-Strait reconciliation in spite of the fact that the PRC officially stated that the “1992 consensus” was a consensus realizing (ti-xien) the “one-China principle.” In several private meetings with foreign visitors, Ma even went on to say that he accepted the one-China principle with or without any elaboration on what he meant by it. In addition, Ma stated in September during an interview with a Mexican journal that the relations between Taiwan and China are “non-state to state special relations,” and his spokesperson Wang Yuchi further qualified that statement of policy by saying that relations should be characterized as “region to region” (diqu dui diqu) relations (September 3, 2008, news release, www.president.gov.tw). In the effort to participate in international organizations, Ma announced that there is no better title for Taiwan other than “Chinese Taipei” (United Daily News, April 5, 2008). During the August/September effort to participate in the United Nations, the KMT government gave up on the membership drive and pursued only "meaningful participation" in UN-affiliated organizations. Even so, the Chinese Ambassador to the UN, Wang Guang-yia, stated that Taiwan was not qualified to participate in major international organizations, and Taiwan’s participation in the WHO had to follow the MOU signed between the Chinese government and the WHO Secretariat (Liberty Times, August 28, 2008). The Ma administration made no attempt to repudiate the Chinese claim, and Ma’s spokesperson stated that it was not a "non-goodwill" (Liberty Times, August 29, 2008). In addition, when in the negotiations for cross-Strait chartered flights the Ma administration decided to open up six domestic airports in addition to two international airports, the decision apparently fell into the Chinese claim that the cross-Strait flights are domestic flights. In short, the official statements and policy actions by the KMT government on relations between the two sides of the Strait thus put Taiwan within the description of the “one-China principle,” with Taiwan being part of China.

Inner Politics and Arms Sales

In another interview by India and Global Affairs, Ma stated that he wanted to pursue full economic normalization with China, and that he also wanted to reach a peace agreement within his term (Liberty Times, October 18, 2008). If Ma’s concept on the relations between Taiwan and China falls within the description of the “one-China principle,” a full economic normalization will mean an arrangement similar to the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and China. A peace agreement between Taiwan and China within the timetable of his four-year term may necessitate that the United States prepare for an eventual termination of arms sales to and security cooperation with Taiwan. Ma’s statements may be welcomed by the international community as gestures toward peace, but it is actually putting Taiwan's security in jeopardy. If Taiwan were to sign a peace agreement under the KMT where the conditions are defined by the KMT and CCP,  the resulting equation, influenced by a much more powerful China at the other end of the negotiating table, may forfeit Taiwan’s freedom to repudiate China’s claim over Taiwan. Taiwan may be moving dangerously too close to the PRC and may not be able to maintain its current de facto independent status any longer.

The United States has for decades held a policy of refuting the PRC’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan, as stated in the “six assurances” provided by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and other private communications with Taiwan (Fredrick Chien Memoir, vol. 2, 2005, 215-6). When China manipulated the UN Secretariat to issue a letter in March 2007, which stated that Taiwan is considered by the UN an integral part of the PRC, the United States protested to the UN Secretariat, arguing that such a declaration is against U.S. policy (Liberty Times, September 6, 2007). But if Taiwan itself accepts one-China principle, the foundation for this U.S. policy may be jeopardized. In other words, Ma’s effort of reconciliation is a short-term relief for the United States at a time when it is not capable of addressing simultaneous international conflicts. However, such efforts may prove to be against U.S. long-term interests, especially if the United States continues to view China’s rapid military modernization with suspicion.

Taiwan's domestic politics are severely divided over the course of the government's ongoing rapprochement with China. President Ma has not made any efforts to seek domestic reconciliation or attempt to communicate with the opposition over his intentions on cross-Strait policy. In fact, Ma’s statements and actions angered many people who believe that Taiwan should keep China at arm’s length. Taiwan appears to be more divided than before in the months since Ma’s inauguration, as evidenced by several large-scale, anti-government/anti-China demonstrations. Consequently, Taiwan's status has been relatively weakened in facing the subtle and not so subtle threats from authoritarian China. A divided and weakened Taiwan severely threatens Taiwan’s national security, and is, by extension, not in the interests of the United States or Japan, its key ally in East Asia. All interested parties should therefore encourage the KMT to engage the opposition DPP in formulating its policy across the Taiwan Strait. 


Conclusion

The changes occurring within the strategic landscape of East Asia are quite subtle indeed. U.S. arms sales to Taiwan are one of the most important means for the United States to demonstrate its security commitment to its key allies and ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. In order for the United States to continue to maintain peace and stability in the region, the United States has long held the position, as prescribed by the Taiwan Relations Act, that arms sales to Taiwan are evaluated on the merit of Taiwan’s defense needs, not political judgments or as a result of consultations with the PRC. However, the U.S. decision to scale down the volume of weapons that had already been promised may make Taiwan feel uncomfortable about the U.S. commitment at a time when Taiwan needs a strong defense in order to ward off China’s possible aggression. A continued U.S. commitment is also integral in permitting Taiwan to resist China’s political pressure, however remote it may seem, and most importantly enable Taiwan to negotiate with China from a position of strength. The unfinished issue of arms sales to Taiwan thus becomes another pressing matter for the new U.S. administration to address in order to safeguard American interests in reinforcing peace and stability in East Asia.

Taiwan Navy Opens Anti-ship missile base in eastern Taiwan



The nation's navy opened yesterday a military base with Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles in eastern Taiwan to the media for the first time.

Officers and their men gave a demonstration of operations concerning installing and hanging the missiles onto the right positions 

for launching as well as removing them from missile racks afterward.

The naval missile base, called “Guhai” (“fortifying the sea” in Chinese) military base, is nestled in a mountain region in eastern Hualien.


With a camouflage that disguises the military base as an area for ordinary building compounds, the roof tiles of the structures have the special effects of deflecting satellite searches by unfriendly forces or parties.


There are housing units for residents and commercial hotels for tourists near the base.


The structures housing the missiles and troops can be easily mistaken for villas at a tourist resort.


Some of the missile facilities are concealed and some others are mounted on heavy-duty trucks for high mobility.

 

Troops handling Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles have regularly taken part in large-scale military exercises, including live fire tests in war games.


But this is the first time the navy has let reporters make an onsite tour of the military facilities.


The Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles measure 4.8 meters in length and can hit targets more than 100 kilometers away.

Sri Lanka & China Enhance Cooperation




The Governor of the Yunnan Province, Qin Guangrong conveyed China’s support to the economic development process in Sri Lanka, with investment and association with major economic infrastructure projects in the country, when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently.

Acknowledging the contribution made by China for the development of the country, President Rajapaksa stated that Sri Lanka's economy has been greatly benefited by some mega-projects funded by China in recent years and expressed his gratitude to China's participation in Sri Lanka's economic rebuilding process, after decades of LTTE terrorism ended last year.


Commending the able leadership of the President, the Governor stated that President Rajapaksa’s overwhelming political success following a strong mandate in the recent elections, were due to his leadership in liberating the country from terrorism and his commitment towards the economic development of the country.

The two leaders stressed the need to enhance the cooperation between the two countries in many areas such as economy, education, culture, agriculture, investment and tourism. Referring to the maiden flight by China Eastern Airlines from Kunming to Sri Lanka with ‘a planeload of friendship’, the Governor of the Yunnan Province said that it would undoubtedly increase the tourist arrivals from China to Sri Lanka. He further added that the business delegation which accompanied him was keen to collaborate with their counterparts in Sri Lanka to promote trade and investment.

While welcoming the visiting Governor to the Ministry of External Affairs Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris opined that visits of this nature would make a valuable contribution towards enhancing the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.

Governor Guangrong also noted that Yunnan Province in China was a tourism province, filled with abundance of natural resources while Sri Lanka was a well known tourist destination.

Referring to his visit to China in August 2010, the Minister of External Affairs stated that the visit provided him with an opportunity to brief the leaders of the Chinese Government on the current political situation and development process in Sri Lanka.

He expressed appreciation for the various assistances rendered by China and requested the Governor of the Yunnan Province to encourage more Chinese investors to explore the potential and opportunities available in the North and East of Sri Lanka with the dawn of peace and stability.

Several MoUs were signed in the spheres of agriculture, higher education, bio-mass and tourism promotion, providing more impetus to the relations between the two countries.