Navy refutes re­port of a planned drill on Taip­ing

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s Navy Com­mand Head­quar­ters refuted Sun­day a me­dia re­port that it had planned to hold a live fire war game on Taip­ing Is­land in South China Sea but even­tu­ally de­cided to drop it be­cause of weather and other con­cerns.

In its state­ment re­leased Sun­day, the Navy said the re­port by a Taipei-based on­line news ser­vice is un­true, urg­ing news me­dia out­lets to check the facts while mak­ing re­ports about mil­i­tary af­fairs, and re­frain from cit­ing ground­less ru­mors or mak­ing spec­u­la­tions.

The Sun­day re­port by Storm Me­dia said the Navy planned in March to in­clude the drill on the Tai­wan-con­trolled Taip­ing in the dis­puted Spratly Is­lands in South China Sea in this year’s Han Kuang se­ries of mil­i­tary exer- cises, slated for Septem­ber.

The plan, how­ever, was then re­jected by mil­i­tary gen­er­als at the Gen­eral Staff Head­quar­ters, who be­lieved the live ammunition drill of re­claim­ing the out­ly­ing is­land oc­cu­pied by en­emy forces will be dif­fi­cult to carry out dur­ing the pe­riod when the re­gion en­ters the ty­phoon sea­son, the re­port said.

With an area of 0.49 square kilo­me­ters, Taip­ing is the largest nat­u­ral land mass in the Spratlys, which lie about 1,600 kilo­me­ters south­west of Kaoh­si­ung in south­ern Tai­wan.

The South China Sea re­gion, thought to be rich in oil de­posits and marine bio­di­ver­sity, is claimed ei­ther en­tirely or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, Tai­wan, Viet­nam and the Philip­pines.

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