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Defense ministry downplays Chinese military exercise

2018/04/16 15:56:04

Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹)

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) A Chinese military exercise scheduled to take place in the Taiwan Strait Wednesday is just a routine drill of no major impact, and Taiwan's military has not upgraded its combat readiness, defense and security officials said Monday.

"The military has not raised its normal combat readiness," said Lieutenant-General Chiang Chen-chung (姜振中), director with the Ministry of National Defense's Office for Operations and Planning.

"The military is fully ready to deter any foreign attack," he said when answering questions related to the issue from lawmakers at the legislative Foreign and National Defense Committee.

Echoing Chiang's view, Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹), director-general of the National Security Bureau, said the scale of China's upcoming military exercise is roughly the level involving a battalion, and is not aimed at a specific party.

According to Peng, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will hold the exercise in its Shishi target area, which has existed since 2007.

Similar to China's past military exercises in the region, the exercise is not a large-scale one, and will be confined to only a small area, Peng said prior to the legislative hearing.

The exercise will run only from 8 a.m. to midnight in waters off Quanzhou, Fujian Province.

(By Matt Yu and Flor Wang)