The Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed on Tuesday that it would organize a summer camp on the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島), a program under its annual military summer camps.
The status of the Nansha Camp, to be held on Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島), had been uncertain because of ongoing disputes over sovereignty of islands in the South China Sea, with claims by Taiwan, China and the Philippines, among others.
The camps are aimed at university students to let them gain a better understanding of the country’s South China Sea policy, said Lisa Chi (池玉蘭), head of the General Political Warfare Bureau’s Cultural and Political Division.
The Nansha Camp this year is open to university students majoring in political science, foreign affairs, marine ecology and environmental issues.
Of the 10 types of camps open this year, most people opted for the Kinmen military combat camp, parachute training camp and the Penghu military combat camp, according to ministry statistics.
Most of the camps are only open to university and high school students, while two of them — the armored-vehicle experience camp and the science camp — are open to junior-high school students.
This year, the ministry selected 2,910 candidates out of 7,341 who applied to take part in the annual camps.