Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

MND cites U.S.-China ties as hold up for sub, fighter plane sales

MND cites U.S.-China ties as hold up for sub, fighter plane sales

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) Washington has not announced any new sales of submarines or advanced warplanes to Taiwan out of interest in maintaining its relationship with China, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a new report set to be reviewed by lawmakers Wednesday. Due to their focus on stealth and use as a strategic deterrent, submarines are seen as the best option for asymmetric warfare, which would benefit Taiwan in a conflict against a more powerful enemy. In 2001, then-U.S. President George W. Bush moved to help Taiwan acquire eight diesel-electric submarines, but there has been little progress since then. Washington has insisted that the deal is "still under cross-agency review" in response to repeated inquiries from Taiwan, the MND report said, but at the same time China's military power has been growing significantly, posing an increasingly greater threat to Taiwan's security. The situation has promoted Taiwan to seek its own solution to replacing its aging submarines by attempting to integrate domestic shipbuilding capabilities with foreign assistance, the report said. As for warplanes, it said that any new type of aircraft that can help bolster Taiwan's air defense would be good options, but the ministry will target advanced warplanes capable of stealth, short take offs, vertical landings, and supersonic cruising. In another report sent to the legislative committee, Taiwan's representative to the United States Shen Lyushun reiterated that submarines are Taiwan's most desired weapon purchase. Taiwan is now moving forward with a local submarine program but will still ask for Washington's assistance through such measures as technology transfer and sales of related equipment, Shen said. (By Claire Chen and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-19 04:20 GMT+08:00