Defense minister Chiu Kuo-cheng declined to give specifics when asked about a recent round of U.S. military shipments. Taiwan has reportedly received 80,000 sets of U.S. military uniforms, along with 1,000 machine guns. Chiu said the shipments were part an exchange, but he said that the contents were confidential. In related news, the defense ministry has drafted regulations to tighten security at military bases. If approved by lawmakers, the act would prohibit the public from using drones or video equipment to record base activity.

Camouflage uniforms and helmets of the U.S. military, as well as 1,000 M240B machine guns, have reportedly arrived in Taiwan over the past half year. The Ministry of National Defense is believed to have accepted the gear for distribution.

Chiu Kuo-cheng
Defense minister
We of course have a complete inventory of the equipment received, but I cannot disclose the quantity or the list of items. Our operations remain ongoing. This is one of our many exchange projects and it’s not about arming up. Perhaps the timing is what’s made people suspicious. But actually we have routine military procurements and we deal with other military issues regularly. This is all part of our normal operations.

Chiu declined to give specifics about the recent shipments received.

In related news, the defense ministry has drafted regulations to enforce security at military bases, to combat China’s gray zone tactics and prevent the accidental leak of classified information. If the rules are passed, the public would need military authorization to use drones at military bases, use equipment to record audio or video, or sketch or document military facilities. Violations will be punishable with up to three years in prison. The draft went up for review at the Legislative Yuan on Monday.

Liu Shih-fang
DPP lawmaker
Who would be held responsible if foreign-operated or externally-operated drones enter military bases?

Chiu Kuo-cheng
Defense minister
If the drone is within our range, we may use force to eliminate it. Base commanders will be authorized to give the order.

Lawmakers expressed support for tightening controls. More discussions will be held on the bill’s details and implementation, to strike a balance between national security and preserving the public’s rights.

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