Taipei, Taiwan would consider allowing U.S. warships to dock on Taiwan-held Taiping Island in the South China Sea for humanitarian aid purposes, Defense Minister Yen De-fa (???) said Monday at a legislative hearing.
Yen made the comment when asked by opposition Kuomintang Legislator Chiang Chi-chen (???) if the military would agree to a United States request to dock its ships on Taiping Island for humanitarian relief, research, or maintenance purposes or to replenish supplies.
Although he called it a hypothetical question, Yen said Taiwan would consider such a request if it was for humanitarian purposes and consistent with the interests of Taiwan's 23 million people.
Taiwan would not be as open to the idea, however, if it would affect regional security and stability.
While Taiwan and the United States have shared values of freedom and democracy, from the view of military strategy, Taiwan would have to consider whether such a request would help maintain regional peace and stability and whether it was in Taiwan's interests, Yen said.
Asked to comment on a CNN report that the U.S. was planning to conduct military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea later this month, Yen said the ministry has not received any related information.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel