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Taiwan reinforces military deployment in South China Sea

2012/07/24 22:26:38

Taipei, July 24 (CNA) Taiwan's military is standing ready to deploy mortars and anti-aircraft guns on Taiping Island in the South China Sea amid increasing movements by other countries in the region that also claim sovereignty over the area, the Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday.

The logistical preparation for the shipping of 120 mm mortars and 40 mm guns has been completed, high-ranking military sources said, adding that the weapons will be moved to the island in the near future.

Taiwan controls Taiping Island, part of the Spratly island group in the South China Sea, although it claims all of the Spratlys, which are also claimed in whole or in part by China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.

At present, the islet is under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard Administration.

The planned military reinforcement of Taiping was proposed by ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang, who found during a visit there in April to inspect defense operations that there is insufficient equipment on the island.

Upon his return, Lin, a member of the legislature's Foreign and National Defense Committee, advised the Defense Ministry to deploy the 120 mm mortars and 40 mm guns.

The following month, the Legislative Yuan passed a resolution to ask the ministry to deploy the weapons on Taiping Island based on the needs of the coast guard task force stationed there.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Elizabeth Hsu)