Taiwan displays new US-made Apache attack helicopters
TAINAN, Taiwan (AFP) - Taiwan displayed its new fleet of US-made Apache attack helicopters on Friday, as President Ma Ying Jeou renewed his backing for the modernisation of the island's forces despite warming ties with China.
Presiding over the ceremony in Tainan, southern Taiwan, Ma insisted "a solid national defence force" was vital.
Six Apache AH-64Es, the latest variant of what the military says is the world's most powerful attack helicopter, were delivered to Taiwan last month and made their long-anticipated debut at a military base in Tainan.
"As the Republic of China is a sovereign state, it has to keep a solid national defence force, which is capable of defending itself and maintaining regional peace," Ma said in a speech, using Taiwan's formal name.