Taiwan has unveiled its first-ever domestically produced submarine, a move aimed at enhancing the island’s self-reliance and defense capabilities against potential aggression from China. The submarine, developed at a cost of $1.5 billion, is part of Taiwan’s plan to have eight new submarines in service by 2025. The country currently has only two submarines, acquired from the Netherlands decades ago.
President Tsai Ing-wen presided over the launch ceremony on Thursday, expressing her pride in the submarine, which she described as a significant achievement for Taiwan. She emphasized the importance of a domestically developed submarine to strengthen the country’s national defense policy. Tsai’s remarks were made in the context of growing concerns about Chinese military activity in Taiwan’s airspace and waters.
The submarine project, initiated in 2016, is a product of Taiwan’s commitment to self-reliant defense capabilities. The first prototype, named “Hai Kun” or “mythical sea creature” in Chinese, reflects the developer’s assertion that the submarine is a “magical weapon in asymmetric warfare.” This assertion was reiterated by President Tsai during the launch ceremony.
In response to the announcement, China’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Wu Qian, dismissed the submarine as insignificant and claimed that Taiwan’s military modernization efforts would ultimately lead to its own destruction. China considers Taiwan a part of its territory and has repeatedly stated that it reserves the right to use force to reunify with the island if necessary. The United States and several other countries maintain informal but strategic relations with Taiwan, prompting condemnation from China.
The unveiling of the domestically produced submarine underscores Taiwan’s determination to bolster its defense capabilities and enhance its self-reliance. As tensions between Taiwan and China continue to escalate, Taiwan is taking concrete steps to ensure its security and sovereignty. In addition to submarine development, Taiwan has also invested in other military modernization efforts, such as buying advanced weaponry and strengthening its naval and air forces.
The significance of Taiwan’s submarine project extends beyond the immediate defense concerns. It highlights Taiwan’s growing technological prowess and serves as a testament to the country’s determination to assert its place on the global stage. The successful development of a domestically produced submarine demonstrates Taiwan’s ability to overcome technological and political challenges, despite China’s efforts to isolate the island diplomatically.
Taiwan’s submarine program has also garnered international attention, particularly from countries that share concerns about China’s aggressive behavior in the region. The unveiling of the submarine further solidifies Taiwan’s position as a key player in regional security dynamics and strengthens its relationships with like-minded countries.
As Taiwan continues to enhance its defense capabilities, it remains committed to maintaining stability in the region and upholding its democratic values. Taiwan’s efforts to fortify its military forces are not aimed at provoking conflict but rather at deterring potential aggression and ensuring the island’s security. By investing in domestic defense industries, Taiwan seeks to reduce its reliance on external suppliers and establish a sustainable defense infrastructure.
In conclusion, the unveiling of Taiwan’s domestically produced submarine is a significant milestone for the country. It underscores Taiwan’s determination to enhance its self-reliance and defend against potential threats. As tensions with China continue to rise, Taiwan remains committed to bolstering its defense capabilities while maintaining regional stability. The international community will closely monitor Taiwan’s submarine program, recognizing its broader implications for regional security and Taiwan’s standing in the global arena.