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Taiwan holds joint Navy, Coast Guard drill in overlapping waters with Philippines

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's military and the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday held a joint exercise in overlapping waters with the Philippines in the South China Sea amid escalating tensions between the countries after the shooting and killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coast guard last week.

Taiwan's Navy sent the Kidd-class destroyer Ma Kong (馬公艦) and the Lafayette frigate Chen De (承德艦) to join four CGA patrol vessels for the exercise held yesterday at waters near a Taiwan-Philippine temporary law enforcement line.

The drill was set near the Philippines' Batanes Island.

The law enforcement line serves as an identification line for fishing vessels, guaranteeing the safety of Taiwanese fishermen working in the waters between Taiwan and the Philippines.

The drill began after an S-70C anti-submarine helicopter took off from the Chen De, conducting surveillance together with the Ma Kong and CGA vessels. The exercise was tasked with scanning for possible enemies in the air and the sea.

Another exercise involved a search and rescue operation in the wake of personnel falling overboard.

Two Mirage 2000 fighter jets from the Hsinchu airbase in Northern Taiwan later joined the drills.

A second part to the one-day drill simulated an attack by enemy forces from the sea. Taiwan's Air Force also took part in the exercise, including Indigenous Defense Fighters and an E-2K early warning aircraft.

No F-16s participated in the drill in the wake of an F-16 fighter crash on Wednesday in which a pilot was forced to eject. The Air Force has grounded all F-16s pending an investigation. The pilot suffered only minor injuries.

Taiwan's military stressed that no live ammunition was fired during the drill as part of preventing an escalation in regional tensions.

Crossing the Line

In the lead up to the joint drill, the Kidd-class destroyer, with media personnel on board, passed through the 20-degrees north latitude in the South China Sea around midnight Wednesday.

It was the first time the 10,500-ton warship had entered the area to assist the CGA in its efforts to protect Taiwanese fishermen, the Navy said.

The drill was part of government efforts to showcase its determination to protect fishermen operating in disputed areas in the South China Sea.

Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) was killed by gunfire from a Philippine state vessel on May 9 when his vessel was operating near the same area where local forces held the drill yesterday.

Taiwan condemned the shooting and demanded that the Philippines issue a formal apology, apprehend the perpetrators, compensate for losses, and commence fishery talks. The Philippines failed to meet Taiwan's demands for a formal apology by the Tuesday midnight deadline.

In response, Taiwan launched a series of retaliatory measures, one of which was to hold the joint Navy and Coast Guard drill.

May 17, 2013    hindikaulugi@
Actually the GDP per capita of the Philippines is very high now, we can match that up with the 26 warships and other assets plus Filipino soldiers of 5 million including reserves vs. Taiwan of 26 warships and other assets plus Taiwanese soldiers of 50T including reserves only. Make sure China won't help you, this is a one to one battle only!
May 17, 2013    eandre@
Yeah whatever Taiwan cry babies.
May 17, 2013    supotpinoy@
Hit the coast guard office in Roxas Boulevard & don't miss Malacanang Palace.
May 17, 2013    normanytlim@
Such patrols by the Taiwanese coast guards, navy and air force should have been done long before. If you cannot protect you own people, others will walk all over you and then laugh at your weakness. This is what the Phil government is doing, treating Taiwan like some outback banana republic. Give them a slap in the face and wake them up. If USA were to intervene, they will only cost their tax payers' money trying to cordon a wayward ally.
May 18, 2013    extrusion557@
High GPD? By banana to export? Everybody knows that Philippine government is always corrupt and takes money in self pocket! What’s weapon force to compare, like adult to hit a child, according to the world weapon force evaluation report, Philippine is 30th ranking, R.O.C military is 15th, almost put 12 billion per annual year budget, how about Philippines? Please review Wikipedia. No military no response by Philip? R.O.C can clean up all over militarily in 3 hrs. We prepare the military power to face China, not to face a poor country.
May 18, 2013    piawliangjohny@
This drill is only a show. No more drills. Just bomb the coast guard and make sure the Malacanang get bombed as well and the Aquino government all step down for corruption, overuse of power and Aquino who fails to think of the safety of 87,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan. This is about politics which President Ma should consider. Please, if Taiwan want to use their weapons just do it. Bomb the coast guards and leave those Filipinos working in Taiwan making their living serving the Taiwanese People.
May 20, 2013    xander.juan@
extrusion557@ wrote:
High GPD? By banana to export? Everybody knows that Philippine government is always corrupt and takes money in self pocket! What’s weapon force to compare, like adult to hit a child, according to the world weapon force evaluation report, Philippine is 30th ranking, R.O.C military is 15th, almost put 12 billion per annual year budget, how about Philippines? Please review Wikipedia. No military no response by Philip? R.O.C can clean up all over militarily in 3 hrs. We prepare the military power to face China, not to face a poor country.
Oh wow! You can amass all your weapons in front of PH and you won't even fire a single bullet. You know why? -- U.S.A. We are supposed to be allies. Who do you think will come to your aid when China finally frigging starts bombing you? Yes, that is right - US. YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD DEMOCRATIC ALLY. We may not have the armaments to help you but we have people and geography to support you big time! Guess who's the U.S. ally closest to your country? Yey! You guessed it right again!
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 Taiwan will deal with Philippines peacefully: Ma 
A S-70C rescue helicopter, and two frigates conduct a recovery exercise in waters south of Taiwan yesterday. The military and Coast Guard have been placed on high alert and ordered to perform a series of naval exercises following outrage over the recent killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard. (CNA)

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