Taiwan urged to build up arms

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Richard Fisher, adjunct fellow of the US think-tank Center for Security Policy said Taiwan faced a growing challenge to maintain security against the fast-past growth of Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan across the Strait.

Fisher estimated China has targeted Taiwan with at least 500 short-range ballistic missiles, with the number increasing at a speed of 75 a year.

Taiwan is to hold its landmark referendum at the same as the presidential polls on March 20, with voters being asked to support beefing up military defences and peace talks.

The referendum plan has drawn ire from Beijing, which perceives the plebiscite as another step by the island towards independence.

While urging Taiwan to conduct military reform, Fisher recommended Taiwan to work together with the United States to develop energy-based weaponry such as laser and high-power microwave weapons.