Tue, Feb 22, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Defense ministry disputes report on joint war games

CYBERGAMES? A Defense spokesman swatted away media reports that Taiwan would join the US and Japan in computer war exercises later this year

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) denied news reports yesterday that the nation's military is preparing to conduct joint computer war-gaming with the US and Japan later this year.

There are currently no plans to hold joint exercises with any other countries, said MND spokesman Liu Chih-chien (劉志堅).

A joint military exercise, if one was to take place, would mean that despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties, Taiwan, the US and Japan would have entered into a de facto military alliance.

Two Chinese-language newspapers reported the joint exercise plan yesterday, saying that the Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) was to present a plan for the exercise -- called the Han Chung (漢光) No. 21 military exercise -- to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) at a meeting yesterday.

The Presidential Office yesterday denied that any such meeting took place.

The Chinese-language newspaper reports said the computer war gaming later this year would adopt a joint theater-level simulation system (JTLS) introduced by the US last year, a system that could enable the Taiwanese military to link up with the US military's Pacific headquarters in Hawaii.

As the US military has linked its systems with that of Japan, the report, had it been true, would have meant that the three countries' militaries would link up for the first time for a computer war-gaming exercise.

While denying any planned joint exercises, the MND did confirm yesterday that the Han Chung No. 21 exercise will be divided into two parts: computer war-gaming and a live-fire drill, which will take palace at Changpin Industrial Park Port in Changhua County.

An anti-terrorist drill and a street warfare drill will be included in the exercise.

The live-fire drill will be based on a scenario in which China launches a surprise raid in Changhua.

In the first stage, missiles will be fired from AH-1W attack helicopters, and then the Army will use tank guns, machine guns and rifle grenades to annihilate enemy troops who manage to land on the beach.

Finally, the Marine's rapid reaction force will join the drill.

During the annual Han Chung exercise, the Marine Corps will also launch an amphibious landing drill called the Lienhsin exercise, while the Army's airborne division will hold a Lienyun exercise.

A land-to-air missile live-fire drill called the Lienyung exercise will also take place.

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