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Surface Forces: Taiwan Sets A Suburban Trap
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December 28, 2010: The Taiwanese government gave the media a tour of one of its anti-ship missile bases recently. This one must have been previously discovered by a Chinese spy, because it was built to look like a vacation home up in the mountains. But inside the "villa", it's all missile launching base. There is equipment for moving the shipping/firing containers the 685 (1,507 pound) Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles are stored in. The 4.8 meter (14.9 feet) long and 400mm diameter missiles are similar in size to the American Harpoon. With a range of 160 kilometers and a 180 kg (400 pound) warhead, they are a threat to any Chinese warship within reach. In production since 2005, new models (Hsiung Feng IIF and III) are entering service, and longer range cruise missile versions have also been developed.

 

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TheOnlyMarxistCowboy       12/29/2010 12:52:13 AM
Isn't this the sort of thing we usually criticize the Palestinians for? Concealing weapons platforms as civilian structures seems to be walking a fine-line between Maskirovka and invitation to war-crimes. If every civilian vacation home on the Taiwanese coast is a potential missile launch site then could the Chinese really be blamed for indiscriminately targeting them? Or if they can be blamed then why cant the Israelis? I understand that the Taiwanese are in a desperate situation but this seems morally ambiguous, it would seem less so to just dig positions into rockface with conventional concealment.
 
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DavidE    Not Quite   12/29/2010 1:21:04 AM
In the case of the Palestinians, the weapons are deliberately
packed in amongst many civilians, real civilians, in the hope
that Israel will either decline to risk civilian casualties, or
be blamed for them when they occur.  
 
In the Taiwanese case, at least as the article describes it,
the weapons are in a villa, "a vacation home up in the mountains",
where it looks like civilians might
be, but in actuality they are not, it is a real military base,
and it is separated from the civilian population, as required
by the Geneva conventions. 
 
Now, if it turns out that there are real civilians in nearby vacation
houses, then the Taiwanese have done something wrong, depending
on how close the actual civilians really are.  But remember that
the Palestinians hide the weapons *under* actual civilian houses,
you can't get much closer than that.  
 
One other point in your favor is that the Taiwanese are dancing on
thin ice in the sense that they might hope that the Chinese shy away
from attacking the site until they have strong confirmation that it
is military, so they are cutting a corner, here.  
 
But I don't think it is fair to say it is equivalent to what the Palestinians,
specifically Hamas, does. 
 
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warpig       12/30/2010 10:32:40 AM

Besides, who's blaming the Chinese for targeting them, anyway?

 
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