Thu, Oct 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan’s safety benefits the US: defense minister

FORGING ON:Plans to acquire M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks from the US are going smoothly and military exchanges are still a frequent occurrence

Staff writer, with CNA

Protecting Taiwan is in the US’ national interest, because Taiwan plays a critical role in maintaining peace in its region, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday.

Yen made the remarks at a legislative session when asked by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) to comment on US journalist Bob Woodward’s new book titled Fear: Trump in the White House, in which US President Donald Trump is quoted as asking the National Security Council: “What do we get from protecting Taiwan?”

Asked why Deputy Minister of National Defense Chang Guan-chung (張冠群), and not Yen, is to attend the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference from Oct. 28 to 30, in Annapolis, Maryland, Yen said the decision was made after taking into account the rank of participating officials and the topics to be discussed at the meeting.

Given the frequent military exchanges between the two nations, he would have many other opportunities to interact with US military officials, he said.

Taiwan’s plan to acquire M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks from the US is proceeding smoothly, Yen said.

Regarding China’s military activity in the region, Yen said that although the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has suspended long-distance combat training exercises at sea since June 20, it has continued to hold short-distance marine patrols and military drills targeting certain countries and areas in the region, including Taiwan.

The military closely monitors the PLA’s actions, Yen said, adding that the armed forces would continue efforts to maintain regional peace and security.

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