CHINA TOPIX

Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Taiwan to Build Own Submarines to Counter China

Taiwan is locally building its own submarines to counter China.

(Photo : Getty Images) Taiwan is locally building its own submarines to counter China.

Taiwan is heading the indigenous route after it failed to secure eight US submarines following over a decade of negotiation as suppliers steered clear any agreement that could anger China. Local shipbuilder CSBC Corporation said on Tuesday that the homegrown submarines could be finished within eight years and enter into service within a decade.

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"Underwater combat readiness is the part of Taiwan's defense that needs the most support," President Tsai Ing-wen said. "I understand it is challenging to build submarines locally. The rule in the international political reality is that you need to help yourself before getting help from others."

The design stage would be carried out for four years, followed by the building phase, and culminated with underwater testing and drills, Cheng Wen-lon, CSBC Chairman, said. The total cost of designing the submarine is estimated at NT$2 billion ($65.8 million). Moreover, Cheng also noted that while CSBC has already constructed about a hundred ships for the Taiwanese armed forces, building a submarine pose new challenges.

Meanwhile, according to the latest report of Pentagon on China's military, the country owns at least 53 attack submarines, many of which are based at Hainan Island. The fleet is expected to increase between 69 and 78 by the end of the decade.

Furthermore, Dean Cheng from Heritage Foundation wrote in 2015 that Taiwan needs to produce more advanced submarines to improve its capability to keep attacking China at bay long enough for the US to intervene, Bloomberg reported. Dubbed as the "breakaway province," the island currently has four submarines, including two surplus Dutch vessels built in 1980 and two US boats made during the World War II.

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