TAIPEI (AP) ― Taiwan’s Defense Ministry says China’s military advantage over the island is increasing, amid Beijing’s attempts to block foreign forces from intervening in a possible conflict.
In its annual defense report, released Tuesday, the ministry says China’s declared 2010 defense expenditures of $77 billion dwarfed Taiwan’s $9 billion, but that the actual Chinese outlay may have exceeded $200 billion.
It says China has deployed a small number of Dong Feng-21 D missiles. The system is seen as a threat to aircraft carriers, the main platform the United States would use were it to intervene in a Taiwan-China conflict.
Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. China still claims the island as its own and threatens to attack if it makes its de facto independence permanent.