Taiwan to increase scientific research and investment in S. China Sea territories

The Ministry of Science and Technology will upgrade science facilities on Taiping Island and the Pratas Atoll, and increase cooperative intl. research projects with other nations in the region

Satellite image of the Pratas Atoll of the Dongsha Islands (Image from National Parks of Taiwan)

Satellite image of the Pratas Atoll of the Dongsha Islands (Image from National Parks of Taiwan)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Friday, Aug. 17 the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced that it would increase cooperation on research projects with nations in the South China Sea, and improve scientific facilities and investment around the Dongsha Islands and on Taiping Island.

As part of the “Integrated Program for Intelligent Prevention of Natural Disasters and International Cooperative Research on Earth Sciences in Southeast Asia” MOST will be increasing its research endeavors and funding for projects around Taiwan’s territories in the South China Sea.

The project kicked off in July and will run through 2022. The project aims to improve Taiwan’s research into disaster prevention, climate and atmospheric science, and maritime studies, while are increasing cooperative research efforts with Southeast Asian nations.

On Friday, Taiwan’s Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) met with researchers from the U.S. and Japan, and led a delegation of government officials on a tour of facilities on the Pratas Atoll of the Dongsha Island chain.

According to reports, there are several projects being planned to increase the involvement of MOST in regional projects.

The Ministry has announced it will improve the research equipment and facilities on the Pratas Atoll, on Taiping Island the ministry will upgrade climate research equipment, and include a new cloud observation facility.

Other initiatives include sharing Taiwan’s early-warning systems and disaster prevention technology with other countries of the South China Sea.

An academic component to the program aims to increase connections, research projects, and academic exchanges in cooperation with other countries.

The initiative for the program is in accordance with the “Four Principles and Five Actions” for the South China Sea, issued by the Tsai Administration in 2016, reports China Times.

The third action specifically instructed MOST to increase its quotas for international scholars to conduct scientific research in the region, while the second action called for increased multilateral consultations with other states in the region.