Sun, May 05, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Tsai presides over Port of Taipei drills

SHIFTING STRATEGIES:The exercise included simulated terrorist and chemical agent attacks, a maritime hostage situation and large rescue operation

By Wang Hsuan-ching and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Coast Guard Administration special task unit takes part in Hai An Field Exercise No. 10 simulating a terror attack and invasion at the Port of Taipei in New Taipei City yesterday.

Photo: Tyrone Siu, Reuters

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday asserted her determination to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty as she toured a military field exercise at a coast guard base at New Taipei City’s Port of Taipei.

The joint Jin Hua and Hai An Field Exercise No. 10 simulated scenarios such as a terrorist attack; an incident involving a nuclear, biological or chemical agent; maritime hostage-taking; and a large-scale rescue operation.

“The international situation is undergoing significant changes that pose great challenges to existing counterterrorism and national defense paradigms,” Tsai said in a speech before the exercise began.

“Security strategy must account for terrorist attacks; attacks utilizing nuclear, chemical or biological agents; and attacks on critical infrastructure that are the emergent security threats of the modern age,” she added.

As a critical node of maritime transport and the main access point to the nation’s northern region, the Port of Taipei’s defenses must be carefully tested for weaknesses so that they could be rectified, she said.

“The government’s ability to respond to emergencies must be improved, while making a clear public demonstration of our will to defend every inch of the nation’s sovereign territory, freedoms and democracy,” she said.

Agencies taking part in the exercise included the coast guard, police, all branches of the military, the Centers for Disease Control, the Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau and the National Airborne Service Corps, the coast guard said.

The field exercise involved 737 personnel, 17 surface vessels, three helicopters, six uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 24 special-purpose motor vehicles, it said.

New equipment included the coast guard’s shipborne 2.75 inch rocket turret systems, rotary-wing UAVs and mobile radar system, the Atomic Energy Council’s vehicle-mounted radiation measurement device and the army’s Type 99 nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicle.

Separately yesterday, in response to a Pentagon report on China’s military, Tsai said that China’s frequent military drills have been disruptive to regional stability, while Taiwan has contributed to peace.

“I am confident that Taiwan’s conduct in the past two to three years has built trust in the international community, and the public should rest assured knowing that the armed forces are making every conceivable preparation to defend the safety of Taiwanese,” Tsai added.

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