- Defense minister apologizes to troops as Juguang township enters 20th day without food resupply.
- The defence minister apologised to Matsu-based troops after reports that food shortages are forcing business closures after 20 days without a supply ship.
Cargo ships out of action causing food shortages, saya Matsu DPP head, according to a Taiwan News source.
Cargo ships under maintenance
The chairman of Matsu’s Democratic Progressive Party wing Lii Wen (李問) on Tuesday said the shortages are because two of the three cargo ships that regularly run between Taiwan and Matsu are undergoing maintenance. The remaining ship is apparently too large to dock at the smaller wharf on the island of Juguang, leading to the long delay.
Lii said he supported the decision to send a transport plane to supply Matsu’s soldiers, but that the county government also owed a duty of care to the residents of Matsu. He said it was unfortunate that the county government had yet to come forward with a clear plan for solving the problem.
The manager said finding a way to import ingredients or find another supplier from the larger township of Nangan is her biggest challenge. She said that while the two cargo ships are out of action, the remaining one does not operate on a fixed schedule, making it hard to order products from Taiwan when they are needed.
The manager also said that ordinarily, for the one-hour journey between Juguang and the larger port at Nangan, ships are not refrigerated. She said that it would be possible to use privately run refrigerated shipping options, but that the cost of this would be “unimaginable.”
Supplies are limited
There is one 7-Eleven in Juguang, but the guest house operator said that supplies there are limited. “Instant noodles and biscuits are finally on the shelves today,” she said.
Matsu’s lack of meat made headlines on Monday after soldiers complained that they were only getting canned meat, in “S.O.S” style messages written in the sand on the island’s beaches. On Monday (March 6), Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) apologized to the legislature for the shortages and dispatched a transport plane with supplies.
Like the rest of Taiwan, Matsu is also facing an egg shortage. Matsu Daily News reported that the Council of Agriculture delivered 20,000 eggs to Nangan township on Thursday, selling out after 30 minutes to 200-meter-long queues of people.
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Source: Taiwan News