|Legislators look at a 40mm AA gun|
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied reports that the Taiwanese army had “secretly” provided Coast Guard Administration forces on Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島) with AT-4 anti-armor rocket launchers to counter landing craft, a move that would have created further controversy with regional claimants.
The news came as legislators and military officials were observing a live-fire exercise on Tuesday by the coast guard, which since 2000 has been in charge of protecting the island, located about 1,600km from Taiwan’s southernmost tip. Itu Aba is the largest island in the Spratly island chain (南沙群島).
Citing military officials, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported that the AT-4 would help Taiwanese forces defend the island against landing-dock ships and vessels in nearby waters.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.