Taiwan to donate mine sweeping equipment to anti-IS coalition

2017/04/17 16:00:58 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(CNA file photo)

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, April 17 (CNA) Taiwan is prepared to donate US$500,000- worth of demining equipment to the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Vice Minister of Defense Cheng De-mei (鄭德美) said Monday.

The equipment, which includes protective gear and precision instruments, will be shipped as soon as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs completes the related coordination work, Cheng told lawmakers during a legislative hearing.

The confirmation came after Stanley Kao (高碩泰), Taiwan's top envoy to the United States, attended a March 22 meeting in Washington of the U.S.-led global coalition to counter the militant group also known as Islamic State (IS).

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson presided over the meeting, the first since President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Kao attended, along with officials representing 67 other members of the coalition.

The global coalition, which was established in 2014 under the administration of former President Barack Obama, has 68 members. In addition to Taiwan, other coalition partners from the Asia-Pacific region include Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.

Taiwan's participation in the coalition has been in the area of humanitarian assistance. Such efforts include the donation of 350 temporary housing units for refugees in Iraq displaced by the onslaught of IS in 2014, after donating US$100,000 to help provide shelter for refugees in that area.

Taiwan has experience in demining work, having cleared the former frontline islands of Kinmen of nearly 100,000 landmines in a 7-year effort that ended in 2014. The mines were laid over the decades against Chinese invasion following China's failed attempt in 1949 to take the islands located just miles off the coast of Fujian Province.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Y.F. Low)
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