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Taiwan Shows Off Military Technology

  • Zlatica Hoke

Taiwan recently exhibited its latest military technology, including an all-terrain armored vehicle, iPhone-equipped missile launcher and a new drone. Meanwhile, the United States has confirmed that it will continue to sell arms to Taiwan, dismissing reports that U.S. and Chinese defense officials may discuss a possible change of that policy.

Taiwan's latest armored vehicle model is relatively small and suitable for all types of terrain, including urban environment. It is about two-and-a-half meters long and can accommodate six to eight people.

Erick Yang of the Champion Auto company that developed the new military vehicle praises its versatility.

"You can use it in the rescue missions, like in a typhoon, water disaster, all these situations. And also in the battlefield, if you need in the narrow conditions, you will need a very good control of the vehicles," he said. "Also, police can use it, so, all kind of potential capabilities. We could have it customized, even the armor function can be customized."

Yang says the prototype is ballistic proof, and the vehicle can be customized to provide protection from nuclear, biological and chemical contamination.

The iPhone is becoming an essential piece in a military kit. The phone's camera is being used as a monitor for night vision. Engineers say that the phone's camera has tracking features so when the equipment is moved the camera does not need adjusting.

Visitors can also examine Taiwan's latest drone equipment.

"The control of the drone is very user-friendly," said Clark Lin, deputy general manager of the Gangyu Corporation. "The person who operates the drone can easily learn how to control and manipulate the drone. That means anyone can easily use it in different situations, for example search and rescue operations, forest surveys, or environmental protection works, scientific research, or even crime investigation."

Taiwan has exhibited its latest military technology with a view of attracting buyers. But the self-ruled island buys much of its self-defense arms and services from the United States.

A spokeswoman for the State Department, Jen Psaki, said Thursday that the sales will continue.

"Consistent with the U.S. commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States makes available to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability," she said. "We believe this long-standing policy contributes to the maintenance of the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, but there is no change to our one-China policy."

U.S. and Chinese defense officials met earlier this week in Washington to discuss creation of a joint task force to deal with issues of mutual concern. Chinese news media reported that the task force would also discuss U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. The United States has dismissed those reports.
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