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 endof this year, a lawmaker and military pundit said Tuesday, reflectingcontinued tension with China despite warming ties.
Taiwan beganmass producing the Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles after it acquired "keycomponents" needed to manufacture the missiles, and will startdeploying them this year, lawmaker Lin Yu-fang told AFP.

Lin, amember of the ruling Kuomintang party, declined to specify the range ofthe 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."
Atop military chief spoke of the need for a military build-up despitethe fast warming ties between Taipei and Beijing over the past twoyears.
"Although tensions between Taipei and Beijing have easedsubstantially, the Chinese Communists have not renounced the use offorce against Taiwan," Lin Chen-yi, chief of the General Staff, toldreporters in Taipei.
President Ma Ying-jeou gave an order in 2008for the production of 300 Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles, according tothe Taipei-based China Times.
The paper said Hsiungfeng 2E, whichwas developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science andTechnology, has a range of around 800 kilometres (500 miles).
Theinstitute has spent 2.2 billion Taiwan dollars (68 million US) eachyear since 2000 on developing the missiles, whose name means BraveWind, and managed to expand its range from 600 to 800 kilometres, itsaid.
The missile could be launched on land or at sea, the papersaid, adding that it would be capable of hitting airports and missilebases in southeast China, as well as cities such as Shanghai and HongKong.

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