Date: Jun 14, 2015
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter
Coast Guard Administration (CGA) Minister Wang Chung-yi (王崇儀) is currently aboard the nation’s largest patrol ship, CG-129 Kaohsiung, on a supposedly “secret mission” to visit an outpost on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島), part of the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the South China Sea.
Wang, accompanied by coast guard and navy officials, boarded the 3,700-tonne cutter without fanfare or official announcement before it departed from its home port of Kaohsiung on Thursday.
However, information later leaked that the ship was traveling through the South China Sea, headed for Itu Aba.
The trip is the Kaohsiung’s first at sea, after it was formally commissioned into service on June 6, along with sister ship CG-128 Yilan, in a ceremony presided over by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). The CGA contracted Kaohsiung-based Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Group (中信造船) to build the two vessels in 2011 for a quoted NT$5.214 billion (US$167 million). [FULL STORY]