Optics used to measure the launch of Taiwan’s Xiongfeng III anti-ship missile have been delivered to a European manufacturer. After that, Taiwanese media reported that he was sent back to Taiwan from Shandong province in eastern China. Over the past year, Beijing has stepped up its military activities around the island. China sees Taiwan as part of its own territory and has promised to unify it by force if necessary. Autonomous Taiwan considers itself cut off from the mainland. President Tsai Ing-wen unveiled new plans to strengthen Taiwan’s defenses in preparation for an attack from Beijing, including extending the conscription period from four months to one year.
In a statement, Taiwan’s missile developer, the National Sun Yat-sen Institute of Science and Technology, said the device was shipped to Switzerland by the company that originally shipped it to the Taiwanese military. From there, it was converted to the manufacturer’s Asian maintenance center in Qingdao, China, for repairs. The institute said it removed the memory card before sending it to Europe and conducted an information security check when it was returned, and said there was no concern about information leakage. Su Tzu-Yun, Ph.D., of Taiwan’s National Institute of Defense and Security, said optical devices are not direct missile components, but Taiwan should pay more attention.
“Taiwan needs to be stricter and more cautious in contract management,” he said. “Of course, we don’t want such devices sent to China for repair.” He pointed out that the manufacturer was unaware that the equipment purchased from the Taiwanese supplier was later used for military purposes.This is not the first time concerns have been raised about the safety of Taiwan’s missile program. Last year, three of two Taiwanese suppliers were sentenced to four to 10 years in prison for using Chinese products to counterfeit missile parts purportedly made by US manufacturers.