Military recommends bolstering defenses on Taiping Island

Taiwan's military on Monday confirmed that it has recommended that the coast guard bolster its defenses in the South China Sea. That's in light of a number of regional disputes which have cropped up in recent months.

At the heart of Taiwan's interests in the South China Sea is Taiping Island, the largest natural island in the disputed Spratly chain. Taiwan's military maintains control over the island, although the Spratlys are also claimed in part or in whole by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

Military official Chiang Chen-chung spoke about the issue at the legislature on Monday. He said that the defense ministry had proposed to the coast guard 17 concrete recommendations for bolstering defenses. However, he said that it was still just a proposal under consideration.

Right now it's being discussed in high-level meetings, and the coast guard staff all know about the situation. What we have proposed is increasing firepower, not manpower, and most [of the weaponry] would be defensive, not offensive in nature," said Chiang.

A defense ministry spokesperson declined to comment on what sorts of military hardware were being considered, saying that it was a military secret.

Source: Radio Taiwan International