Enoch Wu clarifies position on Han Kuang Exercise

TAIPEI (The China Post) — New Frontier Foundation deputy chief executive officer (新境界文教基金會副執行長) Enoch Wu (吳怡農) clarified his position on Monday regarding the Han Kuang Exercise (漢光演習) after the Ministry of National Defense (MND, 國防部) responded to his comments earlier that day on the purpose of the landing practice in preparation for the annual Han Kuang Exercise. 

The entire discussion was triggered by a landing exercise that went awry when a raiding craft from the 99th Brigade of the Marine Corps capsized in Kaohsiung. Since then, two soldiers have tragically passed away, while five are still in the hospital. 

Wu, who attempted to clarify his position on the military exercises after being chastised by President Tsai Ing-wen for making “unfair assessments,” said to Facebook that the military training seemed to be “just for show” as opposed to real-life combat simulations. 

In clarifying, he stated that while there are differences, he believes that both sides should agree on these goals.

First, he believes that their mutual goal should be to make the military better.

Second, he agrees that every soldier’s life and sacrifice should be valued.

Third, he hopes for more manpower in the military, better training and better equipment to allow Taiwan’s soldiers to be better equipped in protecting Taiwan.

Finally, he hopes that the MND and politicians can discuss Taiwan’s defensive strategies rationally and calmly. 

The MND responded to his earlier remarks by saying that the reason they had to conduct these drills was that Taiwan has many outer islands.

If any of the islands are threatened in any way, the military would need to be prepared to respond to these threats.

The MND that there are also many other situations in which landing exercises would be necessary. Since situations change rapidly, they highlighted the necessity of continuing amphibious exercises to better prepare the military.