TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As Taiwan’s indigenous submarine program nears the construction phase for its first prototype, China is getting worried, and expressing its unease by issuing warnings to other nations, imploring them not to provide Taiwan with the defense technology.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying (華春瑩), said on Monday that China’s opposition to arms sales and defense technology transfers by the United States and other countries is “consistent and clear-cut.”
In the press briefing on Monday, Hua declared that “China is firmly opposed to any country selling arms to Taiwan and having any form of military links with Taiwan.”
File photo: China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying (Associated Press photo)
After receiving the U.S. government’s approval, several U.S. firms have reportedly already provided the necessary technology for Taiwan to begin construction on its indigenous submarine.
It was previously reported that companies from the U.S., India, Japan, and two European countries had expressed interest in the Taiwanese submarine project. China urged these countries to “to fully understand how sensitive and harmful this matter is.”
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense recently stated that it expects to submit a complete timeline for manufacturing, testing, and commissioning of the first prototype vessel to the Legislative Yuan by March. Construction may even begin by the end of the 2019, with the first vessel expected to be complete by 2025.
Also this week in China, the Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson is meeting with top military officials in Beijing and Nanjing, which is the headquarters of the PLA’s Eastern Command Theater. Analysts expect that much of the discussion between the military leaders will involve Taiwan and the South China Sea.