Wed, Jul 22, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Army arsenal move could benefit Terry Gou, legislator says

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator alleged yesterday that Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) had played a role in the military’s removal of an arsenal unit in Taipei.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) told a press conference that the decision to remove the Army 202 Arsenal in Nangang District (南港) could profit Gou.

Gao said Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Gou had visited the Ministry of National Defense on Feb. 11 to negotiate the removal of the arsenal. At the time the ministry said the relocation of the unit to Sansia Township (三峽), Taipei County, would take eight years, the lawmaker said.

Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and city officials attended a city government meeting to discuss the removal plan on June 12, Gao said. Gou was also at the meeting, and he told the officials that eight years was too long and that the relocation could be done in three, the lawmaker said.

On June 18, the military and the city government changed the plan so that the relocation could be completed in three years, he said.

The unit includes a missile base, which is responsible for the air defense of Taipei, Gao said, accusing the military of undermining national defense. Gao said the arsenal occupied a 160-hectare plot of land in Taipei valued at NT$600 billion (US$20 billion) and that several companies, including Gou’s, had been eyeing the land.

Ministry spokesman Major General Yu Sy-tue (虞思祖) told the Taipei Times that the Armaments Bureau was responsible for negotiations with the city government on removing the arsenal.

Yu said the ministry was still trying to obtain information about the alleged June 12 meeting.

The arsenal had been at its present location for 60 years and any decision to remove it would be the military’s alone, Yu said, adding that external forces would not influence such a move.

Calls to the Hon Hai Group spokesman’s office were not answered yesterday.

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