President Tsai touts value of international defense training program

President Tsai Ing-wen said May 10 that a Ministry of National Defense-organized training program involving high-ranking military and police personnel from eight Central and South American nations is helping cultivate a deeper understanding of Taiwan while strengthening bilateral friendships.

This internationally significant program promises to enhance communications and exchanges among participants, Tsai said. It also lays the foundation for improved military and police performance through utilization of the latest strategies and tactics, she added.

The president made the remarks while receiving the 25 program participants from seven Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatic allies Belize, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay, as well as Peru, at the Office of the President in Taipei City.

According to the MND, the three-week program comprises tailored courses in cultural affairs, economics, politics and cross-strait relations, as well as visits to government agencies, leading attractions and various military bases. To date, around 460 participants from the eight countries have completed the program, with many rising to such positions as chief of staff, commander and minister of defense.

Launched in 2006, the program is held every May and October for high-ranking personnel at National Defense University in northern Taiwan's Taoyuan City. NDU is the nation's premier facility for military education, offering advanced studies in strategic planning and operations.

Tsai said she had the opportunity to meet with former program participants during her official visit to ROC diplomatic allies El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in January, as well as Panama and Paraguay in June 2016. They all credited such exchanges with strengthening their professional capabilities and assisting them in developing a broader international perspective, she added.

The support of ROC diplomatic allies for the nation's meaningful international participation is deeply appreciated by the people of Taiwan, the president said, adding that the government will continue developing mutually beneficial and substantive relations with countries around the world in line with its steadfast diplomacy approach.

Source: Radio Taiwan International