President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday defended the nation’s military strength at a ceremony to mark the premiere of a television documentary on Taiwan’s military, saying a strong defense and effective deterrence will remain the military’s goal.
“Our military is a strong defense force that can defend national territory and protect its people. The Republic of China [ROC] is also a peace-loving country, and will resolve disputes in accordance with the UN Charter and international law,” he said at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
Ma’s defense of Taiwan’s military strength follows reports of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) request to US President Barack Obama during their informal summit in California for the US to stop arms sales to Taiwan.
The documentary was a joint effort of the Discovery Channel and the Ministry of National Defense and it will be broadcast on three successive Tuesdays: tomorrow, June 18 and June 25. It explores the training regimens of the Marine Corps Amphibious Reconnaissance, naval underwater operation unit and Army Rangers.
Ma, accompanied by Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) and top military officials, also visited an exhibition of military equipment at the hall and used the occasion to promote the voluntary military service program.
“We are confident about the strength of our military force, and hopefully the program will boost public confidence in the military and encourage more people to join the voluntary military service program,” he said.
The army frogmen and airborne special force units demonstrated their combat skills at the ceremony and outside at Liberty Square. The military marching band’s performance also attracted a big crowd.
The exhibition, which features tanks, armored cars, combat rubber boats, Humvees and other military equipment, as well as wartime military antiques, is open through to tomorrow at the memorial hall.
It features experience zones that allow visitors to put on deep-sea diving gear or crawl on the so-called “road to Heaven” that is covered with rocks as part of training for frogmen.