Taiwan Chief of the General Staff conferred highest military award ahead of retirement

Taiwan needs to continue refining its defense strategy in order to deter threats from China, says President Tsai

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President Tsai Ing-wen and Chief of the General Staff Adm. Lee Hsi-ming (Center) (Source: Presidential Office)

President Tsai Ing-wen and Chief of the General Staff Adm. Lee Hsi-ming (Center) (Source: Presidential Office)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chief of the General Staff Adm. Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明) was conferred the highest military decoration on Wednesday by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) prior to his retirement at the end of June.

Taiwan needs to continue developing its asymmetric defense strategy in order to deter and respond to threats perpetrated by China’s People's Liberation Army, remarked Tsai at the conferring ceremony held on Wednesday morning. Having a solid defense capability not only guarantees security across the Taiwan Strait but also peace in the region, she said.

Tsai commended Lee for his efforts to promote the country’s new defense strategy, the Overall Defense Concept, since assuming the role of chief of the general staff in April 2017. She also recognized Lee’s contributions to refining the military’s drills and combat readiness.

While the new chief of the general staff has not yet been named, earlier reports suggested that Air Force Commander Gen. Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) or Navy Commander Adm. Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) would likely be Lee’s successor.

However, in a statement issued in May, the Ministry of National Defense said that its committee would nominate a new chief based on fairness and impartiality. It urged the media not to speculate on the shifting of high-ranking military personnel.

Lee was granted the Order of Resplendent Banner with Special Grand Cordon on Wednesday for military service that has spanned nearly half a century. He graduated from the Republic of China Naval Academy in 1977 and later from the U.S. Naval War College in 1998.