Tue, Sep 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Minister will not attend defense conference in US

NOT THIS TIME:A deputy minister is to attend the event, ending speculation that Yen De-fa might be one of the few ministers to attend the annual forum

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) will not attend an annual defense industry conference involving Taiwan and the US this year, with the Ministry of National Defense yesterday announcing that a deputy minister would attend.

Deputy Minister of National Defense General Chang Guan-chung (張冠群) will attend the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30 in Annapolis, Maryland, the ministry said in a statement.

The announcement ended speculation that Yen could be one of the few Taiwanese defense ministers to attend the meeting after the organizer, the US-Taiwan Business Council, sent him an invitation.

Since 2002, when the US-based non-profit held the first such conference in St Petersburg, Florida, the Taiwanese delegation has been headed by a deputy defense minister, except for 2002 and 2008.

In 2002, then-defense minister Tang Yao-ming (湯曜明) gave a keynote speech at the conference. In 2008, then-defense minister Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) did the same at the seventh conference.

The conference is an interactive event, where representatives from the defense industries in both nations present ideas on cooperation and development, the ministry said.

It is a “non-governmental platform,” it said.

This year, the conference will focus on issues concerning industrial cooperation and security, so Chang will attend, as he knows the defense industry well, it said.

The ministry said it welcomes anything that might help the nation’s defense industry to develop and would seek to be involved so that it can bolster the nation’s self-sufficiency in defense.

This would allow US entities to learn what Taiwan needs to develop its national defense industry, boosting bilateral industrial cooperation and reinforcing the nation’s self-defense momentum, it said.

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