Taiwanese defense officials said Taipei was “optimistic” about a recent announcement by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense that it would hold a regular press conference every month, a British defense publication reported on Friday.
Touted as a bid to enhance openness and communication regarding the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the rest of the world, the press conferences will be held on the final Wednesday afternoon of every month, Chinese media have said.
Either ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng (耿雁生) or Information Affairs Office Deputy Director Yang Yujun (楊宇軍) will reportedly host the monthly event.
The Chinese military’s first-ever official regular press conference was held on April 27, during which a visit by Chinese Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde (陳炳德) to the US from yesterday to next Sunday was confirmed.
Xinhua news agency quoted Geng as saying on April 27 that the regular press conferences would “spread important information about China’s national defense and military buildup in a timely matter and help the world better understand China’s armed forces.”
The PLA’s lack of transparency and Beijing’s defense spending has led to a chorus of accusations by Washington and regional powers, such as Japan. This failure to communicate capabilities and intent, officials have said, enhances uncertainty and increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation.
The “surprise” unveiling in January of China’s first fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighter hours before US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in Beijing, as well as signs last year of greater assertiveness by the PLA on Chinese claims to the South China Sea, have contributed to calls on Beijing to be more transparent regarding military matters.
Chinese academics said following the press meeting last month that the regular press conference would help defuse skepticism and “excessive interpretation” of China’s military.
In an article on the subject on Friday, British defense magazine Jane’s Defence Weekly quoted Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesman Lo Shao-ho (羅紹和) as saying that the ministry was “optimistic about the impact of the press conferences on PLA transparency.”
The article also quoted a spokeswoman at the Pentagon as saying that Washington welcomed the move toward greater transparency.
“Substantive and continuous engagement fosters greater understanding and promotes the healthy, stable and reliable development of the military-to-military relationship,” she said.
However, Jane’s quoted the Pentagon spokeswoman as saying that concerns remained over the lack of transparency in terms of China’s strategic intentions, decision-making and emerging military capabilities, such as anti-access and area denial systems.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide
A solo exhibition by Taiwanese artist Lee Kuang-yu (李光裕) at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay has generated considerable attention since its opening last year, including from Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍). Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders early last year, domestic tourism in Singapore has soared at destinations such as the popular Gardens by the Bay, a nature park in the city-state’s Central Region. Since the venue’s reopening in August last year, “A Sculptor’s Secret Garden,” a solo exhibition of Lee Kuang-yu’s work curated by Tan Hwee Koon (陳慧君), has been been especially popular. Originally scheduled to close today, the show
HASTY REVIEW CLAIMS: Medigen’s vaccine, which is to start phase 3 clinical trials later this year, should not have received emergency use authorization, Hau said Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) is to appeal the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of Medigen Vaccine Biologics’ COVID-19 vaccine, he said yesterday. The administration on July 19 granted Medigen emergency use authorization, even though the drugmaker had not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials. The government should not authorize the use of a vaccine that has not completed phase 3 trials, Hau said in Taipei on the sidelines of an event to distribute boxed meals with former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康). Hau said the government had politicized