Taiwan inaugurates first submarine shipyard, Asia News & Top Stories

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TAIPEI • President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday organized an inauguration ceremony for Taiwan’s first self-built submarine shipyard, underlining her determination to strengthen the island’s self-defense.

Ms Tsai announced the launch of a program in 2017 for the development of Taiwan-made submarines, but the move has been criticized by rival China as well as opposition parties, who deem it too expensive.

“We have faced severe criticism. Today, however, we have proven that Taiwan can really do this,” Ms. Tsai said at the ceremony held at the Kaohsiung Shipyard.

Construction of the shipyard is expected to be completed at the end of next year. Taiwan plans to produce eight diesel submarines and commission its first self-built submarine by 2024.

The program is jointly conducted by the Navy, the National Institute of Science and Technology Chung-Shan and a shipbuilding company, CSBC Corporation Taiwan.

According to Tsai, Taiwan operates four submarines: two 70-year-old models from the United States and two 30-year-old models from the Netherlands. Pressure from China has prevented Taiwan from buying more overseas.

Ms. Tsai has made reviving Taiwan’s domestic arms industry a priority for her administration.

Construction of the shipyard is expected to be completed at the end of next year. Taiwan plans to produce eight diesel submarines and commission its first self-built submarine by 2024.

On Monday, Ms. Tsai received a defense industry delegation from the US-Taiwan Business Council, expressing hope that the council will help connect the island’s defense manufacturers to the global market.

DPA


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