The Republic of China (Taiwan) Coast Guard Administration and other agencies jointly carried out a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise in Taiping Island and in its relevant waters on November 29, 2016. The exercise involved three aircrafts, eight vessels, and 336 persons, simulating a foreign-flagged cargo ship caught on fire, five crew members jumping overboard awaiting rescue. This was the first major humanitarian exercise conducted by Taiwan in Taiping Island, which is located in South China Sea, 1600km south-west offshore Taiwan.
The exercise, conducted as part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s policy to transform Taiping Island into a base for the provision of humanitarian aid and logistical support, demonstrated the efficacy of the government’s mechanism for cross-agency cooperation and its humanitarian assistance/disaster relief capabilities in the South China Sea. Taiwan will continue to carry out rescue drills in Taiping Island and establish it as a regional maritime center, which will serve to safeguarding all vessels sailing in the surrounding waters.