Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) Taiwan's new Defense Minister Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) called Friday for the military to heighten its guard against spies, as China has not relented in its efforts to infiltrate Taiwan's military as exchanges across the Taiwan Strait increase.
Kao, who took up his new post earlier that day, said that Republic of China military personnel should remain on guard against any possible leaks of classified information to China, according to a statement released by the Ministry of National Defense.
He made the remarks at a ceremony during which Gen. Yen De-fa (嚴德發) assumed his duties as new chief of the General Staff and Gen. Liu Chen-wu (劉震武) took over as the new deputy defense minister, the ministry said.
"A sound internal protection mechanism (against espionage) is key to ensuring the safety of the military," Kao said.
Kao, 63, also stressed the military's core mission of strengthening its combat readiness and defense capabilities and said the military must not let its guard down.
Although cross-strait ties have improved by a great deal in recent years, China has not renounced the use of force against Taiwan.
Taiwan will need to continue its efforts to build a small but elite force, in line with a concept of innovative, asymmetric warfare, according to Kao.
To that end, the military will need to acquire more advanced military equipment and weapons, and recruit more volunteer servicemen and servicewomen who will serve in the military for a longer time and become well-trained in operating such advanced weapons systems, Kao said.
Kao, a former Navy commander and chief of the General Staff, replaced Yen Ming (嚴明), who resigned recently to give way to "a younger leadership."
In the latest personnel reshuffle, Gen. Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) took over as the new Army commander, while Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) became the new Air Force commander and was promoted to the rank of general.
Also that day, Li Hsi-ming (李喜明) was promoted to admiral and succeeded Adm. Chen Yung-kang (陳永康) as the Navy commander. Chen will now serve as a strategy adviser to the president, according to the ministry.
(By Elaine Hou)ENDITEM/J