Taiwan defence officials grilled as troops ask 'where's the beef?'Lawrence Chung in Taipei
Published: 4:09pm, 6 Mar, 2023
Taiwan’s defence chief has apologised for failing to ensure supplies of meat for frontline soldiers stationed on the Matsu Islands – where Taipei has garrisoned troops to guard against a potential attack from mainland China.
Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng was grilled in Taiwan’s legislature on Monday over a lack of meat for troops stationed on Xiju, one of the islets of Matsu, which are located close to the southeast coast of mainland China.
“What was wrong with the military for letting our soldiers at the frontline starve for meat?” asked Chiu Chen-yuan, from the opposition Taiwan People’s Party, who suggested the defence ministry would have difficulty convincing young people to join the military to help defend Taiwan.
Chiu Kuo-cheng offered an apology to the soldiers, saying he was aware of the situation and had urged the military to resolve the problem quickly.
“A C-130 transport plane will deliver the food supplies there,” he said, adding that there were still other food on Xiju.
The food supply blunder came to light after soldiers on Xiju wrote protests in the sand on a beach, saying they had not had meat in three weeks and there was just rice and canned food to eat.
“No meat at the Matsu Garrison Command canteen. Can only eat canned food and instant noodles. No more canned food. Main food of the Matsu Garrison Command canteen is just rice,” read the notes.