Minister of National Defense Lee Tien-yu (
"It is an international norm for military personnel in major troop reviews not to be armed with loaded weapons," Lee said when taking questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Huang Chao-shun (
When approached by reporters on his way to the session, Lee also said it was "unnecessary" for the military to carry loaded weapons to the celebration.
"This is a safety rule and not an exceptional case. It has always been like this since I participated in the National Day military review as a student," Lee said.
Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (
Lee and Chang were asked to comment on a report published in yesterday's Chinese-language China Times, which quoted an anonymous source from the military as saying that the NSB had requested all troops performing today to carry empty weapons.
The story cited another unidentified NSB source as saying that the rule was standard operating procedure and applied to the military police, while the military could decide for itself.
When asked to comment yesterday morning, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is in charge of organizing the celebration, said he did not know anything about the NSB's request.
KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (
Meanwhile, another China Times story said that the military had spent up to NT$77 million (US$2.3 million) on the parade and would show off 2,000 soldiers, 200 pieces of ground equipment and 300 helicopters and fighters.
Wang said the cost was "reasonable," when asked for comment.
"We spend a similar amount of money [on the celebrations] each year. The only difference [between the expense of this year and other years] is the military performance," Wang said, adding that extra personnel costs were unavoidable.
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
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