Taipei/Washington: Former Taiwanese Defence Minister Michael Tsai appealed ‘Taiwan can challenge the Chinese influence in the Pacific region. Therefore, the United States and Japan should assist Taiwan to manufacture advanced submarines, challenging Chinese domination.’ The Taiwanese defence department has made massive provisions for the manufacture of advanced submarines.
Former Taiwanese Defence Minister, Michael Tsai clarified while speaking at a function of the ‘Hudson Institute’, a US study group that if you feel that China should not swallow Taiwan, then Taiwan should create a fleet of advanced submarines on a priority basis. This is vital from the Taiwanese security point of view.
Tsai expressed regret that the plan drawn up by former US President George Bush to equip Taiwan with submarines had failed. The Former Defence Minister expressed an expectation that Taiwan has made the preparations to manufacture submarines indigenously and technical support is required from the United States, Japan and other countries for this purpose.
Tsai claimed ‘If the United States and Japan, countries supporting democracy, provide the necessary military assistance to Taiwan, the confidence of the southeast Asian countries Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore along with Australia, opposing the Chinese arrogance, will increase and Taiwan will get support at the political level. Comprehensive cooperation by the United States and Japan with Taiwan will deliver a message to China.’
China was invited in the RIMPAC war exercises, four years ago, but China was refused participation in the exercises, this year, because of its aggression in the South China Sea. Tsai appealed that the United States and allies should invite Taiwan for the war exercises henceforth and the patrolling by the US warships and fighter jets in the Taiwanese limits should be increased.
Seth Cropsey, a senior analyst at the Hudson Institute, underlined that equipping Taiwan with advanced submarines was in the interest of the United States. Cropsey claimed ‘China and its military feel compelled to capture Taiwan, to establish domination over the pacific region. On the other hand, Taiwan can act as an anchor for the United States to maintain its influence in the region.’
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen and Michael Tsai, a senior leader in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, are known to be ardent supporters of Taiwanese independence.
A few hours ago, the Taiwanese defence ministry announced a provision of USD 340 million for the manufacture of submarines based on advanced technology. The submarines will be manufactured in Taiwan itself. Taiwan has made inquiries with its allies for the supply of the necessary technology and weapon systems for the submarines. Delegations of Six officials each, from the Taiwanese navy, will be visiting the United States and the European countries.
The US companies supplying enormous quantities of weapon systems to Taiwan, since the last few months, had expressed willingness to supply the necessary technology for submarines. At the same time, a meeting is scheduled to be held between the US and Taiwanese officials regarding cooperation in stinger missile systems, anti-tank TOW-2B missiles, F16-V fighter jets and M1A2 Abrams tanks.
Meanwhile, the Chinese stand is that Taiwan is its territory and the United States should not build any relations with Taiwan. China has threatened that the United States will have to face severe consequences for military cooperation with Taiwan. But the US administration has adopted an aggressive policy to provide military assistance to Taiwan, without paying any heed to the Chinese threat.