The Ministry of National Defense has not proposed purchasing large amounts of weapons through the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vice Minister of National Defense Chu Kai-sheng (朱凱生) said yesterday.
Chu declined to comment on whether the ministry was planning to buy small commando submarines from the UAE.
He made the remarks in reply to a question from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) during a committee meeting at the legislature regarding possible military cooperation between Taiwan, the UAE or another third party following President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) stop in Abu Dhabi on his way to Latin America.
International controls on arms transaction are very tight and it is impossible to acquire arms "unless we can get export permission and end-user certificates," Chu said.
Any arms procurement or weapons sales must be conducted via legal procedures, Chu said, adding that the ministry would send a procurement bill to the Legislative Yuan prior to any arms transactions.
Lin raised the question because a KMT legislator claimed Chen's stopover in Abu Dhabi and the re-establishment of direct transport links between the two nations was tied to weapons purchases from the UAE.
He said that Taiwan acquires most of its weapons from the US and the ministry should make it clear if there were any arms agreements between Taiwan and the UAE.