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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

TAIWAN RECEIVES NEW DESTROYERS FROM US

ROC Central News Agency

2005-10-30 19:48:34

    Charleston, South Carolina, Oct. 29 (CNA) In a ceremony presided over by R.O.C. Navy chief Adm. Chen Pang-chih Saturday, two US-made Kidd-class destroyers were handed over to Taiwan and made ready to head to their new home base.

    Instead of donning his uniform, Adm. Chen appeared at the ceremony in civilian clothes to play down the military significance of his country's acquisition of the two warships.

    Contrary to Chen's low profile, his US counterpart in the ceremony, Brigadier-General John Allen, the principal director for Asian and Pacific Affairs, International Security Affairs of the Office of the Secretary of Defense showed up in his uniform, and called on Taiwan politicians be more concerned about the safety of their country and deal responsibly with the Taiwan government's request to purchase a package of arms from the USA.

    Allen was referring to the Taiwan government's request to buy US$16 billion worth of arms from the US, which has been blocked by the legislature more than 30 times.

    The US general also said the destroyers, the first two of four purchased by Taiwan, would strengthen Taiwan's defense capability and improve its security.

    Also present at Saturday's ceremony were David Lee, Taiwan's representative to the USA, and a group of journalists stationed by Taiwan media in Washington.

    It has not been announced when The two destroyers, named by Taiwan authorities the Keelung and the Suao, will leave Charleston for Taiwan.

(By Maubo Chang)

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