Military blasts signal with Taiping artillery demo

The China Post news staff

In a joint effort with the Defense Ministry(國防部), the Coast Guard Administration (海巡署) completed an artillery firing demonstration on Taiping Island (太平島) in the disputed South China Sea on Thursday. The Defense Ministry’s 120 mm mortar bomb saw its first artillery firing on the island on Thursday, among other military weapons and canons. The demonstration was the first since an arbitration on the South China Sea in July. The artillery firing display was initially scheduled for October. The Coast Guard Administration confirmed that it had been postponed by the Defense Ministry until Dec. 21 through Dec. 23 on personnel issues. At the newly constructed port on Taiping Island, a 40mm cannon fired into the sea on Thursday, sending up waves of white splashes.

The cannon was deployed beside a stele carved with “Peace in South China Sea, territory forever fortified.” According to the Coast Guard Administration, the troop deployed on the Island — the Nansha Command (南沙巡防指揮部), is now a light infantry regiment after old 106mm recoilless rifles were dismissed earlier this year. There are currently 40mm grenade guns, 20mm cannons, 40mm cannons, 81mm mortar bombs and 120 mm mortar bombs on the island, officials said.