Tue, Mar 05, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Singapore troops to join Taiwan drills: document

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

A document released by the navy revealed that Singaporean troops stationed in Taiwan are set to join Taiwanese soldiers in a joint military exercise, a local newspaper reported yesterday.

The Chinese-language <>Apple Daily reported that a document from the navy delivered to the Coast Guard Administration showed the Singaporean troops, who are in Taiwan under the codename Operation Starlight, would take part in live-fire drills with Taiwan’s armed forces at a military base starting today.

The newspaper said the navy was to inform and warn the coast guard about the exercises.

In the document, the navy detailed the weapons systems the foreign troops would use during the drills, including 7.62mm general-purpose machine guns, 5.56 SAR rifles and the MATADOR anti-armor weapon system, the report said.

The newspaper said it had a copy of the document.

The navy responded that Taiwanese troops do not hold exercises with Singapore troops, the newspaper said.

“The Singaporean troops use the country’s bases for training, but they train independently,” the navy said.

Asked why Starlight troops were mentioned in the joint armed forces drill document, the navy refused to comment.

Military spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said the military would not comment on the report.

An anonymous official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quoted saying he was concerned that Singapore might file a protest with Taiwan over the matter.

For nearly 30 years, Singapore, which lacks the space for large-scale military maneuvers, has trained its troops in Taiwan under the codename Operation Starlight. The arrangement has been kept low key in the two countries.

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