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MND to provide 40mm guns to boost coastguard capability

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The R.O.C. military will provide a total of eight sets of 40-millimeter automatic guns to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) to beef up the nation's Coast Guard vessels' combat capabilities, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a report to the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

The MND report said that in order to help strengthen the CGA's capabilities in carrying out law enforcement duties in Taiwanese waters, it had already given the CGA a set of 40-millimeter automatic guns in 2012 to be installed on one of its newly commissioned vessels.

The vessel the MND referred to is the 2,000-ton class patrol vessel Hsin Bei (新北艦), which means New Taipei, which was commissioned to the CGA fleet in March 2013.

The MND is scheduled to deliver another two sets of 40mm cannons by the end of this year and complete the transfer of a total of eight guns by the end of 2016, the report said.

Meanwhile, the MND regularly helps the CGA in its duty to defend Taiwan-controlled islands in the South China Sea by sending transportation ships every six months to provide supplies to two outlying islands, Dongsha Island (東沙島) and Taiping Island (太平島) in the Spratly island chain, the report said.

The MND also sends military instructors to CGA troops stationed at the two islands, offering training lessons for CGA personnel. This year, the MND will also dispatch Army Academy instructors to the two islands, the report said.

The MND sent its report to the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday, days before Defense Minister Yen Ming (嚴明) was scheduled to report to the committee on March 17.

  Yen is scheduled to brief lawmakers on the MND's efforts to help the CGA beef up its power and mobilize reserve forces in case the need arises.

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