Thu, Feb 16, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ministry denies Kao in Singapore for military talks

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

A Lockheed Martin F-16D aircraft is displayed at the Singapore Air Show in Singapore yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied media reports alleging that Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱), who is currently in Singapore, was there to conduct military exchanges with his Singaporean counterparts, saying the minister was there to attend the Singapore Air Show.

In an article yesterday, the Chinese-language China Times quoted Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌) as saying that Kao was in Singapore with a military delegation, where they proposed to conduct secret military exchanges with their Singaporean counterparts.

Hsueh said this was the highest level of military exchanges between the two countries in recent years, which could be seen as a significant breakthrough.

In a press statement, the ministry said Kao and other military officials were at the air show to observe advanced defense technologies, which could help them map out a future defense strategy for Taiwan.

The Singapore Air Show, which is held once every two years, is the third-largest air show in the world and attracts hundreds of aviation companies and air defense firms, the ministry said.

The ministry said Kao, who is scheduled to return to Taiwan tomorrow, did not conduct military exchanges with Singaporean defense officials.

Singapore has military cooperation programs with Taiwan. Under the Starlight training program, which began in 1975, Singapore has been sending units from its military to train in Taiwan because of the lack of space in the city-state.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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