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Cross-ministerial joint inspection of Taiping Island to review progress in South China Sea

To promote the President’s vision of Taiping Island as a supply base and center for humanitarian assistance and rescue operations, and in order to foster scientific research in the South China Sea in accordance with national policy, on Nov. 14 Minister of the Ocean Affairs Council (OAC) Hwung Hwung-Hweng led a delegation of representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) on an inspection of work underway on Taiping Island in the Nansha (Spratly) Islands .

“Since 2016, we have conducted three humanitarian assistance and rescue exercises in cooperation with related ministries—including the MOTC, MND, and MOHW, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs—strengthening our capacity to assist those in need in the waters surrounding Taiping Island,” Minister Hwung said. “These exercises were carried out to put national policy into practice, and make the island a center of humanitarian assistance and rescue operations, as well as a supply base. Today, we visited Nansha Hospital to understand how it stands in terms of its capacity. We will use this as a reference in further strengthening emergency medical services here on Taiping Island.”

The sustainable use of the South China Sea has long been a focus of international attention. To support the local ecosystem and environmental sustainability, the OAC and other ministries, such as MOST, are promoting Taiping Island as a base for cooperating with nearby countries on scientific research, including the monitoring of earthquakes, tsunamis, climate change, and ocean acidification. Minister Hwung said he hoped the visit would promote the scientific research being conducted by various ministries, and enhance the implementation of national policy.

In recognition of the devotion and sacrifices of those stationed on the island, the visitors also carried out an on-site survey to confirm that family visits could go ahead as planned.

Taiping Island in the Nansha Islands is not only the sovereign territory of the R.O.C. (Taiwan); it is also an important site through which Taiwan contributes to peace and stability in and around the South China Sea.

Through today’s tour, the visitors were able to show their appreciation to those stationed on the island, better understand both the island’s medical care capacity and its ecosystem and research environment, and emphasize that Taiwan will continue to uphold freedom of navigation in the South China Sea on the basis of such values as peace, humanitarianism, conservation and sustainability. The R.O.C. (Taiwan) is willing, through negotiations conducted on the basis of equality, to work with all states concerned to advance peace and stability, as well as protect and develop resources, in the South China Sea.
  • Source: 海巡署
  • Date: 2018/11/14

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