Fri, May 05, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Official denies reported UAE arms deals

NO WEAPONS The defense ministry would have to submit a procurement bill to the legislature if any weapons transactions took place with the UAE, the vice minister said

CNA , TAIPEI

Vice Minister of National Defense Chu Kai-sheng (朱凱生) said yesterday he had never been to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and that there have not been any arms deals between Taiwan and that country since he assumed his post two months ago.

Chu made the remarks in reply to a question from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) during a committee meeting at the Legislative Yuan on possible military cooperation between Taiwan and the UAE.

Su raised the question because Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) and National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Parris Chang (張旭成) recently visited the UAE.

Arms procurement or weaponry sales would be conducted via the appropriate channels, Chu said.

Repeating that there have been no military sales between the two countries, officials said the ministry would send a procurement bill to the Legislative Yuan if any arms transactions took place.

Computer War drills

Meanwhile, the ministry said the recently concluded computer war games showed that the armed forces have made remarkable progress in their joint operation capabilities.

Officials made the remarks yesterday when they reported on the results of the Han Kuang series of military exercises at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan's Defense Committee. The live fire portion of the exercise will be held later this year.

On April 24, the ministry began a five-day, round-the-clock simulation of various scenarios which could be employed by an invading force, including a strategy of "shock and awe" used by the US in Iraq, a "decapitation" strategy of assassinating the nation's leaders, and an attack aimed at paralyzing the nation's nerve centers by disrupting its communications systems.

The war games demonstrated that the armed forces have made remarkable progress in their joint operation capabilities, with the Air Force and Navy coordinating effectively in an interception exercise, the officials reported.

The newly commissioned Kidd Class destroyers from the US have also contributed a great deal to the command and control of the Navy fleet and to its anti-air capability, they said.

First-wave attack

During the simulations, however, Taiwan was barely able to maintain its combat ability after its missile sites, airfields and radar stations were seriously damaged in a first-wave attack by China using pilotless remote-control airplanes and missiles. This was due to the nation's inadequate warning system and anti-missile capability, the officials said.

Officials said the war games showed that the arms procurement package from the US was crucial to the nation's defense. They were referring to the request for a package of three Patriot-PAC III anti-missile batteries, 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft and eight diesel-fueled submarines that has been blocked by the pan-blue-dominated legislature for nearly two years.

The officials also reported that training of military personnel has been improved and that troops are now able to operate sophisticated weaponry systems.

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