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New MND headquarters slated for 2014

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The construction of the new Ministry of National Defense (MND) headquarters in Taipei is expected to be completed in 2014, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

The new MND headquarters complex, currently under constructions in Taipei City's Dazhi (大直) will be completed in July 2014, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌) said yesterday in a statement, following a tour to the construction site yesterday morning.

The massive 19-hectare complex, once completed, will be close to the new Navy Headquarters Building and Air Force Headquarters Building.

The MND said the new headquarters is now about 80-percent finished, which is roughly 3-percent behind schedule.

All the military personnel that currently work at the existing MND headquarters in downtown Taipei's Boai District (博愛特區) near the Presidential Office will be relocated to Dazhi staring in October 2014, the DPP lawmaker said, citing information provided by the MND during the tour.

It has so far taken over 17 years and nearly NT$1.8 billion for the MND to construct the facility, according to Hsueh. The MND complex was originally scheduled to open in January 2008. The MND has attributed the serious progress delay to contractor problems.

The MND has contract disputes with one of the main contractors for the project, power systems company RPTI International (榮電公司). The company later announced bankruptcy in 2012, forcing the MND to find a new contractor to finish the job left by RPTI starting in late 2012.

Other government units will be taking over the existing MND headquarters facilities in Boai District after all military staff have left these buildings later next year, Hsueh said.

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Members of the Legislative Yuan's Finance Committee are led on a tour of the soon-to-be-completed Ministry of National Defense headquarters in Dazhi District, Taipei, yesterday. (CNA)

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