Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Armed forces must remain vigilant, Tsai says

SECURITY:The president reiterated her commitment to national defense reform, while urging the military to keep a close watch on China’s military movements

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen shakes hands with Commander of Penghu Defense Command Huang Ching-tsai, who is to be promoted to lieutenant general on Monday, at a military promotion ceremony in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that the nation’s armed forces must keep a close watch on China’s military movements and take necessary measures to safeguard national security and ensure regional peace and stability.

Speaking at a military promotion ceremony, Tsai said China’s frequent military activity in East Asia has affected stability in the region.

Taiwan, “as a long-standing contributor to regional stability,” should keep monitoring Chinese military movements and take proper measures to maintain national security and regional peace and stability, she said.

Tsai said her administration strongly supports the military and is firmly committed to national defense reform.

Taiwanese troops should spare no effort to improve their combat readiness, she said, amid concern in the nation over a series of training missions by Chinese military aircraft and vessels near Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

Chinese aircraft and vessels have carried out exercises near the ADIZ 25 times since August last year, a Ministry of National Defense white paper released on Tuesday said.

Separately yesterday, Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said that the ministry has the necessary national security mechanisms in place to protect the nation’s borders.

If something unusual occurs during the movement of Chinese military aircraft or naval vessels near Taiwan, the ministry would report to the relevant administrative agencies and inform the public, he said.

The armed forces are to continue their efforts to safeguard the nation’s territory and protect the public, Feng said, when asked whether the public has the right to be informed about Chinese military exercises near Taiwan.

Earlier this month, he had said the ministry would no longer issue reports about such activities unless something unusual occurred.

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