Taiwan's unusually public missile test fizzles

January 18, 2011 08:55


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JIUPENG, Taiwan — Taiwan's leader presided Tuesday over an unusually public test-firing of 19 missiles, but almost a third missed their targets, raising new questions about the self-ruled island's readiness to defend against Chinese attack.

President Ma Ying-jeou's attendance at the drills at a base in Taiwan's south was ostensibly to underscore his commitment to an effective Taiwanese deterrent, following critcism that the island's defense has been undermined under his policy of reconciling with the mainland.

However, one analyst suggested the public display was aimed at persuading Washington to sell more advanced arms to Taiwan.

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