Taiwan MPs visit Spratlys as garrison stages drill
TAIPEI (AFP) - Three Taiwanese legislators flew to a hotly-contested island in the South China Sea on Tuesday as garrison forces there held a live-fire drill, officials said, risking stirring up new tensions in the area.
The lawmakers left an airbase in the south of Taiwan at around 7am (7am Singapore time) on board a C-130 transport plane, arriving at Taiping, the biggest islet in the Spratlys, three-and-a-half hours later.
"The group observed a live-fire drill conducted by the coastguards," Mr Hsieh Chin Chin, a coastguard spokesman, said.
Two of the lawmakers were from the ruling Kuomintang party, and the third from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.