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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

New navigation antenna to be erected on Taiping Island in September

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/22 17:45:34

Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) Construction of a new navigation antenna on Republic of China-controlled Taiping Island in the disputed South China Sea is set to be finished in September, military officials said Wednesday.

The antenna will be located near an existing 1,200-meter-long airstrip on the islet.

When finished, the seven-meter antenna will allow an increase in the number of flights to the island, where military transport planes are often forced to abort landings because of poor visibility, the officials said.

Taiping Island, about 1,600 km southwest of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, is the largest isle in the Spratly island chain, which is also claimed by China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.

Taiwan has recently beefed up its weaponry deployment there amid rising territorial disputes in the region.

In the lastest spat over a live-fire exercise by Taiwan on Taiping scheduled for early September, Vietnam protested the move as encroaching on its sovereignty over the Spratlys and fueling tension in the region.

Taiwan rebutted the claim, saying it has informed neighboring countries of the plan in line with international practice and that the drill, described as routine, will not heighten tension.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Scully Hsiao)

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