The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Friday confirmed efforts to procure M1A2 Abrams tanks and other weapons from the US, and welcomed news that a sale might be announced soon.
“We welcome [the news] and hope to get the tanks as soon as possible,” ministry spokesman Major General Shih Shun-wen (史順文) said in response to a report by the Liberty Times (sister paper of the Taipei Times) that a review of Taiwan’s purchase request is complete and that Washington is expected to announce approval of the deal soon.
The 108 Abrams tanks that the government wants to buy are meant to replace aging CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks and M60A3 Patton tanks that have served the military for 20 years, the ministry said, adding that the new tanks would be deployed in northern Taiwan.
Requests had been submitted to Washington for 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 1,240 BGM-71 anti-tank missiles, 409 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 250 FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, the ministry said in a June 6 statement.
The Pentagon and the US Department of State have notified the US Congress of a potential US$2 billion arms deal with Taiwan, Reuters reported on Wednesday, a sign that the sale is likely to go through, although a formal, public notification must still be made to Congress.
The US has sent personnel to Taiwan to train technicians to maintain and repair the M1A2 tanks, military sources said.
To obtain the larger ammunition employed by the new tanks more quickly, the ministry’s Armaments Bureau is considering producing the 120mm rounds, the military sources said.
Since US President Donald Trump took office, Washington has approved three arms sales to Taiwan, a sign that the US firmly backs Taiwan’s national security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
A DEPRIVATION? The Taiwan Higher Education Union said the program, which drew much student criticism, undermined students' right to an education The Taiwan Higher Education Union on Monday accused Ming Chuan University (MCU) of sacrificing its students’ right to education by altering the English-language instruction for first-year students. The university, which has long emphasized the value that it places on English-language education, in the 2019-2020 academic year changed its English program for first-year students to a combination of self-learning through online videos and weekly lab sessions, during which students would take online tests, the union said. The change has deprived more than 3,000 students of in-person instruction and of interaction with their teachers, the union added. The online program drew much criticism from students