MND has contingency plans, no drill plans
By Joseph Yeh ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday said it has no plans for military exercises near the Diaoyutai Islands this year.
January 16, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The ministry said it will, however, continue to closely monitor the situation in the disputed East China Sea area.
“According to the military's annual drill plan, the ministry will not stage exercises in the Diaoyutais region this year,” military spokesman Luo Shou-he said yesterday at a regular news briefing.
Tensions between China and Japan have been escalating for months over the disputed cluster of uninhabited islands.
Over the past few weeks, Chinese and Japanese fighter planes have been tailing each other above the Diaoyutais, raising fears that a miscalculation could set off an armed confrontation.
Taipei, Beijing and Tokyo all claim sovereignty over the archipelago.
Luo said that the military will continue to stay on high alert and monitor the latest developments in the disputed seas.
Taiwan's armed forces have comprehensive contingency plans regarding the issue and are well-prepared to respond to any possible scenario, Luo said.
The military is scheduled to hold three kinds of major live-fire drills and war games with a total of 62 rounds of drills this year to strengthen the country's defense capabilities amid a growing threat from China, he said.
The planned exercises include its largest, the annual Han Kuang military drill (漢光演習), which will be held in two stages this year. The drill tests the defense capabilities of Taiwan's armed forces in response to a possible Chinese invasion, he added.
The Han Kuang's live military drills are scheduled for April and its computer-aided war games are set for July, according to the ministry.
The exercise has been the largest-scale military drill for local armed forces since 1984.