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MND mulls attendance at annual defense meeting in U.S.

ROC Central News Agency

2018/09/06 13:19:18

Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Thursday it is still weighing whether to have the defense minister attend an annual defense meeting in the United States this year.

The head of the Taiwanese delegation will be decided based on the content of the upcoming U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference and the level of the U.S. participants at the annual meeting, among other factors, an MND statement said.

Also, an upcoming Legislative session that will require senior defense officials to be in Taipei is another factor to take into consideration, it added.

The MND statement came after the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, the chief organizer of the event, confirmed that it has invited Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) to the 2018 meeting to be held in October in Maryland.

Since 2002, Taiwan defense officials have attended the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, most recently in 2008, when then-defense minister Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) was present.

The U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference has been held every year in the U.S. since 2002 as an annual platform for dialogue on Taiwan's national security needs, weapons procurement and defense cooperation with the U.S.

At the first conference, which was held in Florida, Taiwan's then- Minister of National Defense Tang Yiau-ming (湯矅明) gave the keynote address.

On other occasions, the delegation has regularly been led by Taiwan's deputy defense minister.

This year the meeting will be held Oct. 28-30 in Maryland.

It will be the 17th annual event in a series of ongoing conferences addressing the future of U.S. defense cooperation with Taiwan, the defense procurement process, and Taiwan's defense and national security needs, according to the meeting's website.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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