Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - Page 4 News List

MND says it is amenable to ‘new’ ideas on defense

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Responding to US Naval War College analyst William Murray’s theory that Taiwan only needs an army, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday that it would be more than happy to consider innovative ideas.

“We’re always open to new and fresh ideas that may help us outline our future plans for national defense,” ministry spokeswoman Major General Lisa Chi (池玉蘭). “We welcome new concepts.”

Chi was responding to a story in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) yesterday about a strategy Murray is scheduled to present at a seminar in Taipei on Sunday.

Although careful not to dismiss Murray’s proposal outright, Chi said it would be impossible for the military to abandon its navy and air force because they were extremely important in defending an island-nation like Taiwan.

It was the military’s priority to keep war as far away from Taiwan as possible, which was contrary to Murray’s proposal that a strong army would be sufficient to defend Taiwan, she said.

“Air and sea defenses would be extremely important for us because we hope that a war will never happen at home. We will do whatever it takes to prevent that,” Chi said.

Meanwhile, Chi also responded to a story in yesterday’s Apple Daily that China had planted buoys in part of Taiwan’s territorial waters near the Pengchiayu (彭佳嶼) islets off the northeast coast, saying that the report was not entirely accurate.

“The Chinese buoys are located in the high seas, not in our territorial waters,” she said. “We have been monitoring them for a while.”

The story said a group of fishermen had discovered several buoys belonging to China when they were fishing near the islets.

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