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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Defense Ministry promises to investigate contractors

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/02 21:32:13

Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense promised Tuesday to terminate a contract with a company contracted to maintain its helicopter fleet if the company is found to be financed with funds from China's People's Liberation Army.

Maj. Gen. Hsiao Tien-liu of the ministry's Armaments Bureau said Air Asia Co., an airplane-maintenance firm headquartered in Tainan City, will lose its contract with the ministry and will be barred from bidding for other ministry contracts if it is found to have investment from China's armed forces.

Hsiao said Asia Air is responsible only for the maintenance of non-crucial components and that the core maintenance of the helicopters is carried out by the armed forces.

He made the comment after Hsu Chung-hsin, a lawmaker of the opposition pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union, said that a Hong Kong-based Chinese company, Yangtzi Investment Co., holds a roughly 25 percent stake in Air Asia through Taiwan Aerospace Corp.

Hsu said Yangtzi is financed with funds from China, which could use Air Asia to pry into classified Taiwanese military information.

Chang Ming-pin, an official from the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said the commission will look into Hsu's complaints and will address the issue according to the law.

Taiwan does not forbid operations by companies with Chinese investment, except for those with investment from the Chinese armed forces.

(By Chen Shun-hsieh and Maubo Chang)

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