Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vhy Didn't You Tell the Vorld, Eh?!

So a former Taiwanese defense minister is catching grief for mentioning a missile that the defense department briefed their parliament on two years ago? Huh.

A former defense minister of Taiwan wrote a book that discusses a medium-range cruise missile that Taiwan developed. This reaction is fascinating:

The defence ministry, which often refuses to comment on reports regarding sensitive weaponry development and acquisition, condemned Tsai's revelations.

"As Mr Tsai has served as the defence minister, he should know that safeguarding national secrets is his due obligation and he should not have revealed sensitive information, a move which may endanger national security. We regret what he has done," ministry spokesman David Lo told AFP.

The defense ministry condemned what the defense ministry reported on more than two years ago:

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

The Chichun project refers to the Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missile, Taiwan's answer to the US-made Tomahawk. Chuifeng is project to develop the island's long-anticipated supersonic anti-ship missile. ...

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.

The furor is odd, if I may turn to Doctor Strangelove for commentary:

The whole point of the Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missile is lost if you keep it a secret!

With all due respect, failure to disclose the existence of the missile endangers national security. Besides, the military did disclose the missile's existence, so both the Chinese and the Taiwanese public know about it. And even without the past disclosure, it is hard to deploy a weapon in large numbers without it being spotted. The Chinese knew about this weapon.

Of course, the blooming cross-strait love affair is a strange one. China arms up while smiling and pretending that they have no intention of invading Taiwan despite growing capabilities to do so. And Taiwan pretends that China has no intention of compelling Taiwan to join China while needing to somehow deter China from forcing Taiwan to join China and submit to communist rule. Perhaps this is how you remind people of something you don't want to officially admit you need.

But one day, the PLA will cry out, "Mein Premier! I can cross the strait!"