Two classified naval charts were reported missing when an inventory was carried out amid the decommissioning of aging Hai Ou (“Seagull”) missile boats last month, and the information they contained could put navy vessels at risk during wartime, reports said yesterday.
According to the Chinese-language United Daily News, navy officers who had custody over the documents accidentally burned one of the two missing charts while destroying other documents, but the other, which contained classified information about naval deployments in the Taiwan Strait, remains unaccounted for.
The missing chart reportedly contained hydrographic data, ship information, waterways depth, sea salt fluctuation and the locations of navy vessels and submarines in wartime.
Photo: Military News Agency
The information could leave navy vessels exposed if it were to fall in enemy hands, reports said.
Naval Command said two control officers had received demerits over the affair and added that it had turned the case to a local military court for possible prosecution. It said it had also instructed all relevant units to tighten management of confidential information.
The navy decommissioned its last 20 Hai Ou missile boats during a ceremony at the Zuoying (左營) naval base in Greater Kaohsiung on July 1. The ships, whose design was inspired by Israel’s Dvora-class patrol boats, had been in service for about three decades. Each Hai Ou — a total of 50 were deployed — came equipped with locally produced Hsiung Feng I (HF-1) anti-ship missiles.
Amid modernization efforts, three squadrons of Kuang Hua VI (KH-6) radar-evading fast-attack missile boats have entered service since 2010. Each of the 31 KH-6s is armed with the more advanced HF-2 anti-ship missile.
The embarrassment over the disappearance of the classified chart comes after the Ministry of National Defense (MND) admitted last month that it had launched an investigation into the disappearance in May of a top-secret laptop used on a KH-6 vessel.
The computer, which belonged to the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s (CSIST) — the nation’s top military research body — had been installed for a six-month period, during which the ship’s crew carried out tests of confidential communications equipment and procedures.
The Southern District Prosecutors’ Office is handling the investigation into the computer’s disappearance.
Additional reporting by CNA
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
Seven senior faculty members, including the principal, of a high school in Taichung were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Friday, pending an investigation by the Taichung Education Bureau into alleged bullying and abuse that led to the suicide of a student last month. The city’s education officials were too slow to suspend those involved, the student’s father told a news conference on Wednesday, at which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and members of the Humanistic Education Foundation were also present. The boy had been a good student and a high achiever during elementary and junior-high, and had
Taiwan would have established formal relations with Argentina long ago if not for China’s interference, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui told US-based Spanish-language online news outlet Infobae in an interview published on Tuesday. Beijing has left behind a string of unfulfilled promises in Latin America, including pledges to build the Grand Nicaragua Canal and airports, docks, ports and industrial zones in El Salvador, he said. Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other countries enjoy pragmatic and improving relations with Taiwan based on cooperation on the economy, culture, technology and science, he said. While Taiwan is “happy to live and let live,”
TASK FORCE DISPATCHED: MOFA said it would assist state employees with repatriation or relocation to other ally nations in the region after Tegucigalpa severed ties The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday ordered Honduras to vacate its embassy in Taiwan within 30 days of Sunday after Tegucigalpa made a similar demand of Taiwan. Taipei on Monday announced that it had cut ties with Honduras after the Central American nation earlier said in a statement that it had established ties with Beijing and ended its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Following the announcements, Honduran Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Garcia spoke on Honduran television saying that Taiwan would be required to vacate its embassy in the Honduran capital. In Taipei, MOFA later told a news conference that “according