Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Two academic workshops will be held in a disputed area of the South China Sea this summer, the Ministry of National Defense said Monday.
Vice Defense Minister Chao Shih-chang said the two workshops to be held in July and August, respectively, will be attended by 14 college students and graduate students studying political science, diplomacy, legal affairs, marine ecology, and environmental protection.
"The main goal of the workshop is national defense education as well as an understanding of the overall ecological environmental protection in the South China Sea," Chao added.
The ministry said that it will assess the situation in the South China Sea, and if it is safe, it will hold workshops there every year.
Last July, members of a workshop landed on Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island, the biggest island in the Spratly Islands, marking the first time in some 40 years that scholarly work has been conducted by Taiwan there.
The Spratlys and various other archipelagoes in the South China Sea are claimed either in whole or in part by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia and the Philippines.
(By Chen Pei-huang and Lilian Wu)