Date: Nov 27, 2016
By: Lee Hsin-fang / Staff reporter
The Coast Guard Administration and the Ministry of National Defense plan to conduct humanitarian
rescue exercises on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) tomorrow, as part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) promise to turn the island into a humanitarian aid and resupply base, an official said yesterday.
The official, who declined to be named, said that exercises are intended to be a “soft” reassertion of national sovereignty over the island, increasing international awareness without increasing tensions in the South China Sea through “muscle flexing” focused on military power.
Coast Guard Director-General Lee Chung-wei (李仲威) is to attend, the official said.
Tsai declared the island would become a humanitarian rescue center on July 19 after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled it was legally a “rock,” and therefore not entitled to an exclusive economic zone. [FULL STORY]