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MND-organized seminar on Taiping Island comes to a close
Publish Date: 2017/04/29
Update Date: 2017/04/29
Taipei, April 28 (CNA) A seminar organized by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) for domestic college students to see how Taiwan defends its territory in the disputed South China Sea concluded Friday when the students returned to Kaohsiung from Taiping Island.

Seventeen students from graduate schools or doctoral programs at three Taiwanese universities took part in the nine-day seminar, conducted mostly on Taiping Island, to study the government's military strategies in the South China Sea and how an island's sovereignty is defined under international law, the MND said.

The students, accompanied by three lecturers, sailed to Taiping Island on April 20 on a La Fayette-class frigate, which was on a naval patrol mission to the South China Sea, the ministry said.

On Taiping Island, the largest natural island of the Spratly Islands, the students and teachers visited 11 attractions, including a water well, a farm and ruins of the aboriginals who once lived there, and they took part in a flag-hoisting ceremony and mailed postcards.

The students also visited Navy and Coast Guard personnel posted on that island, and expressed thanks to the servicemen for their dedication in defending the territory of the country, the MND said.

The visit by the students and teachers was part of the ministry's efforts to declare Taiwan's sovereignty in the South China Sea in a "soft way," the MND noted.

The 0.51-square-kilometer Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, lies about 1,600 kilometers southwest of Kaohsiung. It has been under Republic of China's jurisdiction since 1946.

Six countries -- Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei -- claim sovereignty over all or some of the islands in the South China Sea and their surrounding waters. 
(Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense)
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