President Tsai optimistic for Taiwan's defense industry

The President said Taiwan's enhanced ship building capabilities and capacity for defense will help maintain 'peace and prosperity' in the Indo-pacific 

President Tsai observing naval exercises April 13 (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Tsai Ing-wen received a delegation from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington D.C. based think tank on April 16 to discuss democracy and security in the region, reports CNA.

During the meeting President Tsai discussed national security, and the recent license granted by the U.S. government for Taiwan to begin manufacturing their own submarines, saying the move would increase Taiwan’s ability to defend itself, while also bringing peace and prosperity to the region.

The meeting with AEI comes days after President Tsai observed a large scale military exercise on Taiwan’s coast involving the navy and air force. Also just two days ahead of China’s planned live-fire exercises, which will take place on April 18 in Quanzhou bay across the Taiwan Strait.

President Tsai emphasized the shared strategic interests and values, which form guiding principles for both Taiwan and the U.S. in the region. Tsai also expressed gratitude for the continual support that the U.S. has offered Taiwan, most recently with the decision to allow Taiwan to begin strengthening its own defense capabilities, with the possibility of producing submarines domestically.

Another major step forward in Taiwan’s domestic defense and ship building industry was the announcement from the navy on April 16, that Taiwan’s first domestically produced amphibious transport ship, to be built by the Taiwan International Shipbuilding Company, would begin construction this year, and is expected to be in service by 2021.

As Taiwan’s domestic defense industry continues to advance, the country’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region will also be strengthened as well.

To demonstrate the organization and capability of Taiwan’s armed forces following the naval exercises last week, and just ahead of China’s live-fire drill planned for April 18,  the Office of the President released a promotional video on social media giving the public a glimpse of the Su’ao training exercise, which can be viewed below.