TAIPEI – Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benitez attended on Tuesday a massive military drill in northern Taiwan, a day ahead of the country’s National Day celebrations.
Abdo Benitez also talked to officers deployed for training at the Taoyuan air base to “learn in-depth about their advances in security matters,” the president said on his official Twitter account.
The presence of the Paraguayan leader at the military training exercises generated great interest on the island as it reflects the strengthening of relations between Taiwan and Paraguay, Taiwanese defense ministry spokesperson Chen Cheng-chi said in a press conference.
The drills are part of a project to keep the army ready for combat against external threats, Chen added.
Seven CM-32 Yunpao (Cloud Leopard) armored vehicles, CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks, 25 Apache, UH-60M Black Hawk, Kiowa Warriors OH-58D and Chinooks CH-47D helicopters, as well as four F-16 fighter jets, four Indigenous Defense Fighters and 566 troops took part in the exercises, which simulated defense against a land and air attack, the military said.
To boost exchanges in investments, trade and scientific and technological training, Abdo Benitez also held a meeting with academics, Taiwanese students and Paraguayan scholarship holders at the Paraguayan embassy in Taipei.
During the meeting, the president encouraged the scholars to return to Paraguay to help improve the education system and general development of the country.
The leader also attended a seminar with Taiwanese entrepreneurs, traders and investors to boost exports to the island and attract more investments to his country.
During the meeting, Abdo Benitez said that Paraguay had recorded stable economic growth in the past two decades and boasted of a legal framework that protected investments and businesses, diplomatic officials told EFE.
On Wednesday, the Paraguayan president is scheduled to attend Taiwan’s National Day celebrations.