Joint military training with Singapore to continue

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Oct 03, 2017 - Page 1

Singapore will continue to send troops to Taiwan to participate in a joint military training program that was set up decades ago, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said yesterday.

During a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Lee said that Singapore had assured him that the military training program would not be put on hold, as reported by Singaporean media, which said the city-state had decided to suspend the program after Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) visited China last month.

In 1974, then-president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) agreed to then-Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s (李光耀) request for the Singaporean military to be trained by Taiwan’s armed forces given the city-state’s limited land and air space.

Then-premier Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) in 1975 signed the agreement with Lee Kuan Yew and initiated the partnership, codenamed “Project Starlight” (星光計畫), in which Singapore sends troops to Taiwan to receive military training.

The project has continued to this day and has taken on the form of a joint military exercise after Taiwan helped the Singaporean military develop its defense capabilities.