Short of personnel to man the four Kidd-class destroyers it is buying from from the US, the navy plans to retire its seven Yang-class destroyers as soon as possible, defense officials said yesterday. \nAccording to the navy, the four Kidd-class destroyers will need a total of 1,468 crew members. Decommissioning the Yang-class destroyers would free up 1,827 personnel. \nIn response to an inquiry from the Taipei Times, the Navy General Headquarters confirmed that it has worked out a retirement plan for the Yang-class destroyers but said the plan has not yet been approved by the Ministry of National Defense. \nThis is the only way the navy can find to handle a manpower shortage that will get worse in the next few years after a new streamlining project is launched in all three branches of the armed forces next year. \nUnder the "Chinchih" project the navy will lose 5,000 service members. A total of 30,000 personnel will be cut from the three service branches over a three-year period, bringing the nation's defense forces down to a total of 350,000. \nEven though it will only lose 5,000 personnel, the navy will have to make a sizable structural adjustment. \nThe Yang-class destroyers, which have been in operation for nearly six decades, were received from the US in 1970s. \nThey underwent a major systems upgrade in early 1980s to become the navy's most powerful warships for many years. \nThe upgrade was codenamed "Wuchin No. 3" so the destroyers are also known as Wuchin No. 3 ships. \nThey were the first ships to be armed with the American-made Standard SM-1 air defense missiles. \nA navy official who served on one of the ships said the SM-1 missiles test-fired from the Wuchin No. 3 ships always hit their targets. \nThis was a veiled reference to the SM-1 that was fired from a locally built Chenkung-class frigate during the Hankuang No. 19 exercise on Sept. 4 but didn't hit its target. \n"The Wuchin No. 3 ships, though old in design and structure, have greater fire power than the Chenkung-class frigates," the navy official said \nIt is a pity that they will be taken out of service. They could still be used for at least another 10 years," the navy official said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu