Taiwan has informed neighboring countries that it plans to conduct a live-fire training exercise on Taiping Island (太平島) in the South China Sea early next month, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Steve Hsia (夏季昌) said yesterday.
It will be a routine drill, Hsia said, confirming local media reports that the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) is scheduled to carry out a live-fire exercise from Sept. 1 through Sept. 5 on Taiping to reinforce Taiwan’s claim to the South China Sea area.
The ministry has informed neighboring countries of the plan, in line with international practice, Hsia said.
“It means those countries will be able to warn their ships to avoid the waters near Taiping Island during the exercise,” he said.
The Ministry of National Defense delivered a shipment of 40mm anti-aircraft guns and 120mm mortars to Taiping earlier this month to help the coast guard reinforce defenses there amid escalating territorial disputes in the region.
While installation of the new weapons has since begun, they will not be used in the upcoming drill, officials familiar with the matter said.
Meanwhile, ruling and opposition lawmakers will embark on an inspection tour of Taiping in the first half of next month, the officials said.
Covering an area of 0.49km2, Taiping lies about 1,600km southwest of Greater Kaohsiung. It is the largest isle in the Spratly Island (南沙群島) chain.
In the dispute over territorial claims to the area, Vietnam recently protested against Taiwan’s defense reinforcement on Taiping, saying that the move was an encroachment on its sovereignty over the Spratlys.
However, the foreign ministry said Vietnam’s protest was unjustified because Taiping has long been under Taiwan’s effective control and management.
“Our sovereignty over the island is undisputable and all of our activities and deployments on the island are legal and will never cause regional tensions,” the foreign ministry said in a recent statement.
UNCREWED CRAFT: A lack of domestic components and engine outsourcing show the need for Taiwan to develop a local drone supply chain, an analyst said The development of a fully domestic drone manufacturing supply chain is crucial to Taiwan’s ability to use the uncrewed aircraft effectively during wartime, a recent report from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research said. Ukraine’s experience in resisting Russia’s invasion demonstrated that civilian drones can provide valuable intelligence during wartime, but they must be manufactured domestically to ensure that foreign component makers cannot take control of the devices, the report said. In the report, institute researcher Chen Po-hung (陳柏宏) analyzed the security of Taiwan’s drone supply chain. Ukrainians have used civilian drones to locate Russian convoys and other targets, he said,
In the last few days before the local elections on Saturday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it is focusing on 10 regions it considers highly contested areas, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said it is stepping up campaigns across the nation. The DPP considers Keelung, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, and Maoli, Yilan, Nantou, Penghu, Changhua and Yunlin counties as areas where its candidates are facing fierce competition, a party source said. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) plan to visit those areas again this week, the source said. The night before the elections,
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking