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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Marine corps will not be abolished: defense minister

ROC Central News Agency

2014/05/05 17:32:33

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Defense Minister Yen Ming said Monday that his ministry has no plans to abolish the Marine Corps, in response to concerns that the amphibious arm of the country's navy will be scrapped under a military downsizing plan.

'There are no plans to abolish it. Only organizational changes will take place,' Yen said in a legislative session when questioned by lawmakers on the issue.

The corps will be adjusted to meet the requirements of future tasks, but its current deployments on the Pratas Islands and Taiping Island -- the biggest of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea -- are still needed, the minister said.

Yen said the ministry will keep its best branches and get rid of the weakest.

The minister also denied speculation that the Marine Corps headquarters will be transferred to the Army from the Navy.

Under a current streamlining program, the Ministry of National Defense plans to cut the number of troops to between 170,000 and 190,000 from the current approximately 220,000.

(By Liu Li-rong and Christie Chen)

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