An eight-wheel armored vehicle was added to the growing list of home-made military systems yesterday. \nThe CM-32 light-armored vehicle (LAV), dubbed "Yunpao" (Cloud Leopard), made its debut yesterday at a launch ceremony attended by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). \nChen said the name was chosen to represent the vehicle's "mobility, agility and firepower." \n"After two years' exhaustive research and hard work, the new armored vehicle has completed its initial trials and has proven able to meet its demands on the battleground," Chen said during the ceremony, which was held at a military base in Nantou County. \n"We named the armored vehicle `Yunpao' because it is agile and swift, just like Taiwan's cloud leopard," he said. \nThe Yunpao was developed by the military and industrial research institutions in a NT$700 million (US$21.9 million) project launched in 2002. Three prototypes had been produced, with the latest recently completing its testing phase. \nChen said the military will pass on technological know-how to private companies to produce more units of the new armored vehicle. \n"We believe the Yunpao project will create business opportunities worth billions of dollars for the private sector, including production, components, maintenance and repairs," Chen said, adding that the project would be a "win-win" scenario for both national defense and economic development. \nChen called on the public to support government policies aimed at strengthening self-defense and to recognize the government's efforts in developing a partnership between the public and the armed forces. \nHe said that Taiwan faced constant hostility from China, which had increased its military spending and was suppressing the nation's "breathing space" in the international community. \nYesterday's ceremony included demonstrations of the Yunpao climbing a steep grade and driving over low walls. With a thumbs-up, an animated and helmeted Chen posed for photographers in the gunner's seat before going for a ride in the vehicle. \nChen also rebutted a report which said one Yunpao unit had been manufactured solely for the use of the president and his family. \n"It's not like that at all. That report has maliciously vilified the nation's forces as well as A-bian," Chen said, using his nickname. \nHe added that neither he nor members of his family would use the armored vehicle. \n"The Yunpao armored vehicle will only be used to defend the nation and its people," he said. \nThe Yunpao can travel at more than 100kph and is equipped with a 25mm gun and a 7.62mm machine gun. The Yunpao will become the army's most powerful armored vehicle when mass production starts in 2007. Its firepower will surpass that of the armored personnel carriers now in service.
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‘STIRRING CONFLICT’: Chinese content farms use hundreds of fake accounts to reach ‘every corner of society,’ an official at the Investigation Bureau said China is conducting disinformation campaigns that involve more than 400 fake accounts targeting Taiwanese on social media, the Investigation Bureau said on Friday. China is trying to infiltrate social media, Internet forums and online chatrooms that are popular among Taiwanese to subvert the public’s trust in the government, destabilize society and meddle in elections, the bureau said. Since it started tracing fake accounts and disinformation to Chinese content farms in April last year, the Information and Communication Security Division investigated 2,773 such cases, the bureau said. It has forwarded 174 cases to prosecutors, who have listed 234 people as suspects, the bureau added. An
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