Taiwan stages live-fire drill in contested Spratlys

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TAIPEI—Taiwan’s coastguards said Monday that Taipei had staged a live-fire drill within a hotly-contested island chain in the South China Sea, in a move that risks stoking regional tensions.

More than 2,000 rounds of ammunition were fired by garrison forces on Taiwan-administered Taiping, the largest of the Spratly Islands, Wang Chin-wang, chief of the Coast Guard Administration, told parliament.

It was Taipei’s first live-fire drill in the Spratlys — claimed in whole or part by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei — since long-range mortars and artillery were shifted to Taiping Island in August last year.

The exercise took place in the middle of the April, Wang said.

Taiwanese legislator Lin Yu-fang, who sits on the bench of parliament’s defense and diplomacy committee, asked Wang to disregard possible reaction from other claimants.

“Taiping Island is part of our territory. You just did what you should do. You’ve done a good job,” Lin said.

Wang said the live rounds included 40 millimeter artillery shells and 120 millimeter mortars, which were transported to the island last year causing Vietnam to express its anger over the new, longer-range weapons.

All claimants to the Spratlys, apart from Brunei, have troops based on the archipelago of more than 100 islets, reefs and atolls, which cover a vast area but have a total land mass of less than five square kilometers (two square miles).

The potentially resource-rich sea, home to important trade routes, is a potential military flashpoint and there have been a string of diplomatic rows between countries with overlapping territorial claims in recent years.

The Philippines and Vietnam have complained that China is becoming increasingly aggressive in its actions in the area — such as harassing fishermen — and also through bullying diplomatic tactics.

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  • http://twitter.com/Iris2__2 Iris2

    Challenge China’s historic claim of 11 line is dangerous. Byapssing negotion and running to UN can only lead to a dead end, armed conflict.

    Think not only ahead but well.

    Pacific needs peace.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      want peace stay home show the world how much you want peace by trying to take over the world practice what you preach

  • opinyonlangpo

    The weak claimants can only watch and complain.

  • http://twitter.com/Iris2__2 Iris2

    “such as harassing fishermen — and also through bullying diplomatic tactics.”

    Harrasing ? The fishermen are in prison without a trial.
    Bullying ? Japan is rearming, thanks for the balanced call.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      of course they are in jail they havent had trial yet. going to send them home to and say come back when there is a trial when someone is caught in china do they send them home and say come back yeah right and they were not fisherman they were poachers and rapist of other countries assets so quit your stupid crying if you dont want to go to jail stay in your own country quit raping other countries

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.lee.1485 Matt Lee

    Good steps, next should be installation of SAM and ASuW missiles. Then its well protected. Vietnamese have been aggressively probing the perimeters.

  • $18209031

    Taiwan is not happy with Pinas for catching a lot of Taiwanese cyber warriors and crimiinals. Taiwan has a lot of money and refuse to kowtow to China ,Pinas or Japland. They know their survival is practically on their own two feet in partner with USA.

    • Pinoy Bodoh

      Refused to kowtow to Pinas? Hahahaha…joke of the year. And why should Taiwan kowtow to Pinas? Is it (a) because of your amazing “navy” or (b) because of your awesome “air force” ??? LOL. What an idiotic comment from you.

  • Peter Lim

    How stupid can it be, Taiwan’s claiming Spratlys against China & Taiwan is part of China, I think it’s time for China to get back Taiwan. Ha! Ha! Ha!

    • http://www.facebook.com/matt.lee.1485 Matt Lee

      The claims in the SCS compliment between the two, no problem there. You don’t hear any fishing conflicts between the two.

  • misuari playboy

    PRC + Taiwan vs PH

  • $18209031

    Kaya ng Pinas ang Taiwan. Maliliit lang ang Taiwan vs Republik of Pinas. PInas can take out Taiwan and China will be next. THis will be achieved with joint forces with Japan RP tandem. The South China Sea will become NW Philippine Sea.

  • branlem

    Taiwan is a little irrational in their approach to all this. Taiwan is being threatened by her gargantuan neighbor China and here she is trying to pick up another fight with other nations. Is Taiwan thinking that if take sides with China they’d be reunited as friends and her troubles will go away. No way…China will never stop until Taiwan is retaken and brought back to her arms

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