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Taiwan’s leader has ordered missiles to be deployed near her office in case China launches an attack, a Taiwan lawmaker has claimed on China’s state broadcaster.
The island’s president Tsai Ing-wen was so unnerved by talk of “decapitation strikes” by the People’s Liberation Army that she ordered missiles to be deployed as part of a plan sketched out recently to “fortify” her office and residence in Taipei, the Taiwanese lawmaker told mainland China’s leading television station.
The claims were made by Chiu Yi, a former lawmaker who appears regularly on a current affairs program about Taiwan on China’s state broadcaster China Central Television.
Chiu, a member of Taiwan’s pro-reunification New Party, revealed the claims on the Taiwan Strait news program aired last week on CCTV-4, the international Mandarin channel.
He said that the Military Police Command’s deployment in October of the island’s indigenous Kestrel anti-tank missiles, among others, to defend high-profile government buildings including the Presidential Palace in the capital city, could be directed by Tsai herself “out of her deep-seated fears.”
On the program widely viewed by a mainland audience, Chiu said the Taiwanese military’s portrayal of the might of the shoulder-launched Kestrel missile in propaganda material was grossly far-fetched, as it could not even pierce the armor of the PLA’s Type 98 and Type 99 main battle tanks, let alone thwart their advance in the streets of Taipei if the tanks managed to make landfall in Taiwan.
“While reports said the missiles would help defend government complexes and the people, they were intended to protect only President Tsai and her cohorts,” said Chiu.
Chiu added that a Quick Reaction Company consisting of elite troops called up from the military had also been set up to patrol and guard the Presidential Palace for extra security, which could be seen as a tacit admission that missiles alone would not enhance Tsai’s peace of mind.
To lend more credence to his claims, Chiu stressed that as a former member of the Legislative Yuan, he had access to restricted defense documents and sources within the Taiwanese military.
Chiu also discussed the navy’s ace asset, the Kao Hsiung tank-landing ship, its missile and radar systems, as well as the military’s missile deployments in and around Taipei.
Appearing on the same program again on Sunday, Chiu said that while the Kao Hsiung was fitted with a phased array radar system and vertical launch silos, the data link and control systems aboard the warship were all “outmoded.”
In response to Chiu’s steady diet of leaks and “insider information” on CCTV about the incapabilities of the Taiwanese military, the island’s defense ministry noted on Wednesday that as a lawmaker, Chiu’s remarks would be tantamount to “treason.”
The ministry added that Chiu did not have knowledge of any classified information about Tsai’s security detail or the assets and personnel deployment to safeguard Taipei.
“The public should keep in mind that Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party have never renounced the use of force against Taiwan,” said a ministry spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Chiu has been labeled a “traitor” on social media for his years of paid appearances on CCTV programs badmouthing Taiwan, with some calling on the Legislative Yuan to take disciplinary actions against him, like taking back his end-of-service gratuity.
But a Yuan spokesman said freedom of speech must be upheld as long as any incumbent or former lawmaker did not commit any actions that could endanger the island’s national security.