Sat, Jan 26, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Defense ministry says it is in control in Taiwan Strait

Staff writer, with CNA

Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi speaks at a news conference in Taipei on Jan. 9.

Photo: Tu Chu-min, Taipei Times

Amid increased muscle-flexing by China and the US in waters near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that it is in full control of the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

“Taiwan’s resolve to safeguard national security and stability in the region remains unchanged,” ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said when asked if tension has escalated due to an increase in what in seen by some as saber-rattling by Taiwan, China and the US near the Strait.

Chen’s remarks came one day after two US warships sailed through the Strait and Taiwan’s navy held its first fly-over demonstration using the locally manufactured Albatross uncrewed aerial vehicle off the southernmost county of Pingtung.

On Thursday, several Chinese military aircraft flew over airspace near southern Taiwan as part of routine long-haul training, while three Chinese military ships also sailed near Taiwan’s east coast on their way home.

In response to a question about whether Taiwan has stepped up its combat readiness in the face of increased encroachment by Chinese jets and ships, Chen said that “the military is in full control of the situation in waters around Taiwan and in its skies every day.”

He said the navy’s drill on Thursday was scheduled in advance and was meant to allow the public to gain an understanding of its preparedness as the Lunar New Year approaches.

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