The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied reports that it would make a military exercise scheduled in May a large-scale operation to mark the anniversary of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration.
Plans for a large-scale military exercise in May as part of the annual Han Kuang exercises — including a missile test at a military base in Pingtung County — were to coincide with the anniversary of Tsai’s inauguration and to raise public awareness of national defense, local media reported.
However, Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) denied that the ministry planned to expand the scope of exercises.
“The scope of the exercise will not be expanded,” Feng said at a legislative session.
“To put it simply, this year’s Han Kuang exercises are based on an examination of the exercises last year. We will make improvements,” he said.
“The exercises have nothing to do with the anniversary,” Feng said.
“This year’s Han Kuang event is the 33rd and it will not serve any special purpose,” he said.
The missile test is to be conducted in the second half of the year, like tests conducted in the past few years, Feng said.
The ministry is to stage a live-fire drill in May, but it said that does not constitute a large-scale operation.
The announcement of the May exercise came as a surprise.
The field operations at previous Han Kuang exercises were generally in August and were preceded by a computer simulation in April or May, while the ministry has been adjusting national defense strategies and redesigning military exercises, which was expected to move the exercises back.
The May event was scheduled following careful consideration, with the ministry taking into account the possibility of floods, which usually occur from July to September and could disrupt the exercises, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said.
Meanwhile, the ministry is to allow senior-high school students who perform well in firearms training to receive special training from elite snipers next month.
Although sharpshooting is part of military training for high-school students, it is often excluded from the curriculum because it is not compulsory, the ministry said.
To encourage wider participation in military training, students who can hit a target 25m away with six out of six shots at a regular rifle training session are to be given 10 additional shots, it said.
Up to 60 students who display “excellent” shooting standards will be eligible for training from the army snipers at more distant targets of 175m and 300m, it said.
There is also to be a sharpshooting competition in November involving 22 teams made up of high-school students, the ministry said.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s