Published On: Wed, Mar 27th, 2024
World | 4,292 views

Taiwan ramps up navy arsenal as tensions spike with China | World | News

In response to escalating tensions with China, Taiwan has taken significant strides to bolster its naval defences, commissioning two new navy ships amidst concerns of increasing Chinese military activities in the region.

The newly commissioned vessels, part of the Tuo Chiang class corvettes, represent a vital addition to Taiwan’s naval capabilities.

Equipped with stealth capabilities, these ships, although small in size, boast high manoeuvrability and pack a potent arsenal of missiles and deck guns aimed at countering potential threats from larger Chinese vessels and rocketry.

The commissioning ceremony, presided over by outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen at the northern port of Suao, underscores Taiwan’s commitment to fortifying its defence industries.

President Tsai emphasised her administration’s dedication to revitalising Taiwan’s defence capabilities, citing extensive arms purchases and support from key ally, the United States.

“We are determined to safeguard our sovereignty and ensure peace and stability in the region,” President Tsai said during the ceremony.

The move comes amid heightened tensions between Taiwan and China, with Beijing increasing its naval and air force missions around the island, which it claims as its own territory. President Tsai’s administration has been proactive in strengthening Taiwan’s defence posture, fast-tracking the production of trainer jets and the island’s first homebuilt submarines.

However, these efforts have faced resistance from representatives of the opposition Nationalist Party, which advocates for eventual unification with China. The impending visit of Ma Ying-jeou, the last president from the Nationalists, to China next month, signals ongoing diplomatic complexities in the region.

Colonised by China in the 1600s, Taiwan later came under Japanese rule before reverting to the Republic of China after World War II. The island has since maintained a separate identity, but China has consistently asserted its claims over Taiwan.

Recent incidents, including frictions between patrol vessels near Taiwan-controlled islands off the Chinese coast, have reignited concerns of a potential conflict. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry remains vigilant, detecting numerous Chinese planes and ships operating around the island in recent days.

With Taiwan’s military capabilities reinforced by new weaponry and an extended period of national service, the island remains on alert for any potential threats from Beijing.

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