Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 27 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Gregory of Narek
home iconNews
line break icon

Taiwan Removes Landmines, But Won’t Destroy Stockpile

CC Mary Wareham

Francis Kuo - published on 06/18/13

Says it won't sign anti-landmines treaty unless Russia and China do

Taiwan will complete clearance of its landmines this month as scheduled, a defense official said on Friday. But it is refusing international requests to destroy its mine stockpile, citing continued threats from China.

Nearly 110,000 landmines and unexploded ordnance have been cleared by Taiwan. Most were planted on the Kinmen and Matsu Islands, close to the Chinese mainland, by the Kuomintang (Nationalist) Party, who retreated to Taiwan when Mao seized power on the mainland in 1949.

The two islands ceased to be regarded as frontline battlefields in 1992, and with only one area left for clearance, the entire task is expected to be completed this month.

Taiwan is not a signatory to the international Mine Ban Treaty but it did enact the Antipersonnel Landmine Control Act on June 14, 2006, which required the government to clear all landmines within seven years but allows it to retain the right to use landmines.

An eight-member delegation of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is visiting Taiwan to join activities to mark the occasion. ICBL executive director Sylvie Brigot Vilain called on the Taiwan government to introduce a local law that mirrors the treaty, prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel mines and calling for their destruction.

But Vice-Defense Minister Liao Jung-hsing said in response that, “Taiwan has no rush to do so as big powers like Russia and mainland China have not signed the treaty.

“Although sincerity has shown in cross-straits exchanges, Taiwan and mainland China are still in enemy status and thus we cannot relax on military preparation,” he said.

He noted however that there has been a continual budgetary allocation for destroying weapons since 2007. Liao refused to disclose the time and amount being destroyed, claiming it is a military secret.

Taiwan suspended the use of antipersonnel mines after 1958, and has spent NT$140 million (US$4.69 million) on landmine clearance so far.

A spokesperson of the Eden Foundation, a local member of the ICBL, said that 161 countries have agreed to ban landmines.

According to the UN 15,000-20,000 people are killed each year by landmines, most of them women, children and the elderly.

The latest landmine monitoring report showed that 65 countries and regions around the world still planted landmines as of 2011. 

Originally published by UCANews on June 17th, 2013.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
2
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
3
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
4
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
5
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
6
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
7
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.