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President inspects military exercise upon return to Taiwan

2012/04/18 22:42:21

Taipei, April 18 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou made an inspection tour of Taiwan's major annual military exercise on Wednesday, hours after his return from Africa.

Ma visited a command center in the capital city of Taipei for an update on the progress of the Han Kuang series of exercises, Taiwan's most important war games involving its Army, Air Force and Navy.

The five-day Han Kuang war games kicked off Monday, while Ma was on a 12-day trip to three of Taiwan's allies in Africa -- Burkina Faso, The Gambia and Swaziland.

Ma's absence during the round-the-clock military exercise sparked criticism in the media and among opposition party legislators, accusing him of neglecting national defense.

But Ma said Wednesday that he was briefed on the arrangements of the exercise before he left for Africa and has been receiving daily reports on the progress since the exercise started, according to a statement released by the Ministry of National Defense that day.

The Han Kuang exercises involve military personnel practicing innovative, asymmetrical tactics against simulated attacks by Chinese forces.

(By Elaine Hou)