Military denies allegations of selling UAVs to Chinese firm

Military denies allegations of selling UAVs to Chinese firm
Two Taiwan military officers stand guard next to an Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) during the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition at the World Trade Center on August 14, 2013.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan's military yesterday denied a lawmaker's accusation that its top-research unit was considering selling locally developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to a Chinese company.

Defence Minister Yen Ming (嚴明) said the Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST, 中山科學研究院) was not in talks with a Chinese company about selling its UAV products.

Yen made the comments during a legislative session yesterday in response to the allegation raised by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯).

During the legislative session, Tsai quoted unidentified sources as saying that a Beijing-based company had sent its staff to the 2013 Taipei Aerospace & Defence Technology Exhibition (TADTE), which was held in Taipei in August.

The CSIST is one of the major exhibitors during the exhibition.

During the TADTE, the Chinese company was in talks with CSIST representatives about sealing a deal on the purchase of UAVs developed by the CSIST, Tsai said.

Citing a regulation that prohibits the military from selling locally developed weaponry systems to China, Tsai said the CSIST's move has violated related laws and could jeopardize national security by leaking confidential military intelligence to the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

The TADTE was held at the Taipei World Trade Center from Aug. 15-18, with 679 booths showcasing defence technology from 105 companies worldwide.

The biennial event, sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, is one of the leading aerospace and defence shows in the Asia-Pacific region.

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