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Marine Corps will not be abolished: defense minister

TAIPEI -- Defense Minister Yen Ming said yesterday that his ministry has no plans to abolish the Marine Corps, in response to concerns that the amphibious arm of the country's navy will be scrapped under a military downsizing plan.

“There are no plans to abolish it. Only organizational changes will take place,” Yen said in a legislative session when questioned by lawmakers on the issue.

The corps will be adjusted to meet the requirements of future tasks, but its current deployments on the Pratas Islands and Taiping Island — the biggest of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea — are still needed, the minister said.

Yen said the ministry will keep its best branches and get rid of the weakest.

The minister also denied speculation that the Marine Corps headquarters will be transferred to the Army from the Navy.

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