The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) has rejected a plan by the Ministry of National Defense to deploy military weapons systems on Taiping Island (太平島), reports said yesterday.
The Chinese-language United Daily News reported that following a recent visit to the island by several senior military officials, the ministry had proposed providing the coast guard with some weapons systems free of charge.
Among the military items proposed for deployment were M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tanks, 40mm automatic guns and 120 mortars.
Photo: Chang Hsuan-che, Taipei Times
The coast guard has been stationed on Taiping Island since the marines were pulled out in 1999.
The proposed weapons would have replaced outdated guns and mortars left behind by the marines when they left, some of which have become obsolete, the report said.
However, the coast guard turned down the offer, the report said, claiming the weapons to be provided by the military were themselves too old and that it could not afford the maintenance costs of keeping them in service.
Responding to the article, the Coast Guard Administration said it had not rejected the ministry’s offer and that the two agencies were in communication over the matter.
Also yesterday, the ministry said the navy’s friendship fleet, which is on its annual foreign tour, stopped by Taiping Island on Wednesday as it was sailing to the South China Sea.
Several fleet officials disembarked on the island to meet with coast guard officials, it said.
Local media said the move by the navy was meant to highlight Taiwan’s sovereignty over the island, which is also claimed by China, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The friendship fleet returned to Greater Kaohsiung last night.
Meanwhile, a Chinese rescue ship arrived in Taiwan on Saturday, making it the first Chinese government-owned vessel of its kind to visit Taiwan in more than 60 years, an official said yesterday.
The 5,000-tonne Dong Hai Jiu 113 sailed from Fujian to Taichung Harbor on Saturday.
“The port call is expected to further understanding between Taiwan and the mainland [China],” said Ying Liu-sheng, secretary-general to the Chinese Search and Rescue Association, a Taipei-based civil body and the host of the trip.
Closer cooperation is needed as maritime accidents have been on the rise because of increasing traffic across the Taiwan Strait, he said.
The ship — the first Chinese search-and-rescue vessel to come to Taiwan in decades—is also scheduled to visit Greater Kaohsiung, Hualien and Keelung before it leaves on May 10.
The symbolic visit comes after Taiwan and China staged their biggest ever joint maritime search and rescue drill off the outlying island of Kinmen in September last year.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions