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Taiwan military stays away from US defense conference due to COVID

Ministry of National Defense representatives already in US will attend October meetings

F-16V jets rehearsing for Taiwan's Double Ten National Day event. 

F-16V jets rehearsing for Taiwan's Double Ten National Day event.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Friday (Oct. 1) it would not send a delegation to the United States-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 20th edition of the annual event was scheduled for Oct. 10-12 in Leesburg, Virginia. Issues on the agenda include the evolving threat from China and cooperation between the defense industries of Taiwan and the U.S., organizers said.

While the MND will not send officers over from Taiwan, its representatives already working in the U.S. will attend and provide the necessary information, CNA reported. Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) denied media reports the ministry was staying away because former Chief of General Staff Admiral Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明) would be present.

The two sides reportedly held different views on Taiwan’s overall defense concept, but Chiu emphasized there were similarities based on the need to keep the enemy as far away from landing in Taiwan as possible. The overall framework and logic behind the reasoning was unlikely to change, the defense minister said.

Taiwan recently concluded the annual Han Kuang 37 war games, while China has continued to send its warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), a threat noted by the organizers of the defense industry meeting.

Updated : 2021-12-03 10:20 GMT+08:00