Taipei--President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said Thursday that building advanced jet trainers and submarines domestically are part of Taiwan's efforts toward defense autonomy that demonstrate the country's determination to defend itself.
Since her government was inaugurated last year, it has listed military reform as well as enhancement of military morale and dignity as a top priority, Tsai said after observing a live-fire drill held on the outlying islands of Penghu as part of the annual Han Kuang military exercises.
So far, the Ministry of National Defense has established projects to replace ageing weapons and refurbish old military buildings to improve the work environment and dignity of military personnel, and to pave the way for Taiwan's defense autonomy, Tsai said.
In particular, the government is making an all-out effort to increase Taiwan's ability to develop and manufacture weapons on its own, as in the case of building advanced jet trainers and submarines domestically, she said.
By securing such ability, Taiwan can develop weapons that best serve its needs, thus strengthening its combat capabilities, the president said.
Investing in the defense industry can also create domestic demand, spur Taiwan's technological development, and increase job opportunities, she said.
Most importantly, by demonstrating its determination to move toward defense autonomy, Taiwan is showing the world its resolve to defense its own territory, according to the president.
The live-fire drills of the 33rd Han Kuang exercises are being held from May 22-26 and involve all three branches of the military -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- to test their coordinated response to simulated assaults by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Thursday's drill simulated a scenario in which the PLA launches an amphibious landing on Penghu.
More than 3,900 troops took part in the drill, which featured 17 kinds of weaponry, including AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, the Thunderbolt-2000 multiple launch rocket system, M60A3 Patton main battle tanks and F-16 fighters.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel