What a sensational headline! 38 years after cutting off formal diplomatic ties with us the United States finally came to its senses? No. Those guys in the State Department and the Pentagon still have very clear minds not to offend China. The report only said that Taiwan observers were invited to present at the drill and clearance was given to board navy helicopters to watch the anti-submarine war game. I read the report three times which had not mentioned whether these observers were permitted to watch the drill in their uniforms or not.
China has known that the US never stops unofficial contacts with Taiwan militarily. As long as such connection infringes Sino-American communiques signed, China would turn a blind eye to our cooperation with the US. For instance, China knows perfectly that the US has been training Taiwanese air force pilots. Nevertheless, China will take no action if these flyboys do not pilot their F-16 fighters beyond the central line of the Taiwan Strait.
Another report the other day was about Taiwan’s military strength. As the year 2017 would see the last time the practice of compulsory military service, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) is worried that the military might not get enough men or women to serve if full voluntary military service is put into practice next year. The MND said it needed at least 175,000 men to defend this island. Well, some said it would not be necessarily using so many troops if the military knows better about how to use their existing human resources more effectively.
My readers who have been in service must have remembered the time you were ordered to lawn the grass in the boot camp. It was a typical act of wasting manpower. Why not hire civilian contractors to cut the grass and let the recruits learn about their soldiering skills?