Date: Dec 01, 2016
By: Chen Wei-han / Staff reporter
Authorities yesterday reaffirmed the nation’s sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including
Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島), after Vietnam said a Coast Guard Administration (CGA) humanitarian exercise on Tuesday violated Vietnamese sovereignty.
Three aircraft, eight naval vessels and 336 personnel took part in the drill, which simulated a scenario in which five people jumped overboard from foreign-flagged cargo ship on fire, with all five being rescued and transported to Itu Aba for medical treatment, the administration said.
The exercise turned into a real rescue operation, as a journalist invited to cover the drill experienced gastrointestinal bleeding and was transferred to a hospital in Kaohsiung, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
The drill, part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy to transform Itu Aba into a base for humanitarian aid and logistical support, was the nation’s first humanitarian exercise in the South China Sea since she took office. [FULL STORY]