Chinese Communist forces have recently started sending high-altitude weather balloons. In accordance with the principle of “never underestimate the enemy”, the Armed Forces are closely monitoring the situation to protect national security. Experts and academics have recommended increased vigilance among military personnel in response to the growing Chinese Communist threat. Early detection and intervention should be practiced to cripple enemy designs against our nation.
Su Tzu-yun, the head of the Division of National Defense Resources and Industries under the Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR), suspected Chinese Communist high-altitude balloons have been found throughout Taiwan. The Armed Forces have confirmed these were discovered and state that the Air Force is continuing to monitor Taiwan’s surrounding air space and security has not been compromised. Taiwanese people should remain vigilant, but there is no need for excessive concern as this may be a part of psychological warfare.
According to Su Tzu-yun, high-altitude balloons are mainly used to support defense research. For example, sound balloons (weather balloons) that collect atmospheric data are used for environmental monitoring before missile and aircraft tests. The data is used to support further system research, development, and calibration. Atmospheric monitoring in combat is conducted by military weather or intelligence units before launch if time permits. However, it is not considered essential and the fast-changing nature of atmospheric conditions limit their utility
Zone-based Combat Readiness and Rapid Reaction
Su Tzu-yu emphasized that the Armed Forces has the capability to monitor the entire battle-space for accurate early warning, zone-based combat readiness and rapid reaction to enemy actions. These form the foundations of national security, and are critical to maintaining the security of Taiwan’s waters and the region.
Shu Hsiao-huang, an assistant research fellow with the INDSR Division of Chinese Politics, Military and Warfighting Concepts, revealed that the release of high-altitude balloons and other actions by the Chinese Communists are undoubtedly aimed at probing the air defenses of Taiwan. Such activities should be closely monitored and tracked by the Armed Forces. Decisive action should also be taken again for any aerial vehicles that intrude into Taiwanese airspace, including jamming its control signal or confiscation of instruments.
Strengthening Intelligence and Maintaining Constant Vigilance
Chen Kuo-ming, the chief reporter of Defense International magazine, commented that the Chinese Communists are doing everything they can to undermine Taiwanese morale and steal military secrets. The Armed Forces can work with defense think tanks such as INDSR to analyze related data and develop action plans. The information should then be repeatedly disseminated through Chukuang Day TV programs, armed forces publications, bulletins and other channels to strengthen military morale and awareness to realize the goal of “knowing your enemy and maintaining constant vigilance.”
In the face of Chinese Communist attempts to obtain military intelligence under the guise of scientific research, the Armed Forces must not only continue to maintain its combat readiness through training but also strengthen its intelligence-gathering capabilities to support accurate early warning and rapid response to enemy action. Proper preparation is critical to countering enemy propaganda and maintaining both military and civilian morale.
Source: Youth Daily News, Ministry of Defense (March 01, 2022)