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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Mirage fighters based in Northern Taiwan to be temporarily relocated

ROC Central News Agency

04/08/2020 07:24 PM

Taipei, April 8 (CNA) Most of the Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets based at the Hsinchu air base will be temporarily moved to another location for about two years due to scheduled runway maintenance, Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said Wednesday.

The Hsinchu base in northern Taiwan, home of the 2nd Tactical Fighter Wing, which is composed of Mirage 2000-5s, will undergo a two-year runway maintenance, Yen told reporters in an interview before a legislative session.

During the two-year period, most Mirage 2000-5s based in Hsinchu will be redeployed to Taichung Ching-Chuan-Kang Air Base in central Taiwan, Yen said.

The transfer of the France-made fighters, relevant personnel and equipment began on Tuesday and is expected to be completed in three days, he said.

"The air defense capabilities for northern Taiwan will not be compromised," Yan stressed, adding that four to six Mirage 2000-5s will be left in the Hsinchu base, which has a contingency runway should any emergency arise.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force currently has five tactical fighter wings, one combined wing and a flight tactical wing, which is a training unit.

Meanwhile, Yan denied media reports that unscrupulous military officers at the ROC Army Aviation and Special Forces Command have colluded with gangsters and forced rookie soldiers to invest in a pyramid scheme.

"There are no gangsters involved," Yen said, adding that the main suspect is a security guard, surnamed Liu, who was affiliated with an airline company who happened to work in the base.

Local news report said the suspect, through military officers in that command, forced rookie uniformed men to invest in second-hand cars and antiques via the pyramid scheme since January 2018.

Liu has gone into hiding after running away with at least NT$6 million (US$197,460) from more then 10 victims, according to news reports.

The case was uncovered by political warfare officers at the camp and nine military officers involved are being investigated and will be dealt with in accordance with the law, Yen said.

(By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim)

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