Taiwan should go ahead with plans to develop long-range cruise missiles capable of striking China even though its ties with Beijing are now warming, a ruling party lawmaker said Monday.
Shuai Hua-ming of President Ma Ying-jeou's Nationalists said the island should continue developing tactical weapons such as the Hsiung Feng IIE surface-to-surface cruise missile, a program started during the administration of Ma's predecessor, Chen Shui-bian.
Unlike Ma, Chen favored formal independence for Taiwan, a stance that enraged Beijing.
"Because the mainland keeps developing missiles with higher precision and longer ranges, we must keep up our weapons programs intact," Shuai, an influential retired army general, told the AP.
Taiwan reportedly test-fired a Hsiung Feng IIE missile with a range of 600 kilometers in October 2004, but its military has never displayed or deployed it.