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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President wraps up inspection of military exercise

ROC Central News Agency

2012/04/20 12:36:29

Taipei, April 20 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou wrapped up his inspection of Taiwan's annual Han Kuang military exercises Friday with a quick tour of a military site in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan.

During his 30-minute tour, he was briefed by military officials on the progress of the Han Kuang series of drills, Taiwan's most important war games involving its Army, Air Force and Navy.

"I have other schedules to keep," he said explaining his short visit to the site.

Ma was accompanied by several high-ranking officials, including Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu, National Security Secretary-General Hu Wei-jen and Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan.

The president has been inspecting the exercises since he returned Wednesday from a 12-day trip to three of Taiwan's allies in Africa -- Burkina Faso, The Gambia and Swaziland.

His absence at the start of the exercises drew criticisms by opposition lawmakers, who accused him of neglecting national defense.

The annual Han Kuang exercises were first held more than two decades ago, with the aim of honing Taiwan's response to a possible military attack by China.

This year's exercise focused on a massive relocation of troops from southern Taiwan to the north, according to 298 Brigade Commander General Chu Yung-yaun.

The scenario was an attempt by China troops to occupy the island's northern regions, including the two airports in the area. Some 1,800 Taiwan troops and 340-plus vehicles were deployed from Pingtung to the north of the country to help fight the simulated battle, the defense ministry said.

A total of 215,000 military personnel were involved in the exercise this year, it said.

(By Nancy Liu)

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