On Tuesday, in a statement, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen stated, Taipei will soon become a weapons supplier to Western democracies with the island nation ramping up its weapons-design ability even as it launched an advanced, warship with missile firing capabilities and commissioned a new minelayer.
Facing daily military threats from China, Tsai has made ramping up Taiwan’s defense capability a priority. Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province and has not renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.
Tsai military drive has benefitted its air force which saw big ticket items, including fighter aircrafts being upgraded. Tsai’s next focus is the navy. Taipei is producing submarines and has already launched the first of a fleet of highly manoeuvrable stealth corvettes.
Its new Tuo Chiang-class corvettes, a prototype which is already in operation, has been dubbed by the Taiwanese navy as “aircraft carrier killer” because of its capabilities to carry anti-ship missiles. It can also be equipped with Sky Sword anti-aircraft missiles.
Speaking at the eastern port city of Suao during the ceremonial launch of the Ta Chiang, the first mass production ship of the Tuo Chiang-class, Tsai stated, the naval unit as well as the new minelayer would acts as deterrents and showcases the country’s research and development skills.
“We have the determination and capability to complete the task of building our own ships, letting the world see our defence research and development energy,” said Tsai. “In the future, we may also become a supply source of related equipment and components in Western democracies, driving the upgrading of the defence industry.”
In January, Tsai came to power in a landslide victory vowing to stand up to a belligerent China. He has championed “asymmetric warfare” focusing on highly advanced, mobile weapons designed to increase the cost for any possible Chinese attack.
She has also focused on making Taiwan’s domestic arms industry as self-sufficient as possible.