Taiwan responds to China threats and unveils new fleet of coastguard ships
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Taiwan commissioned its first batch of coastguard ships on Friday. The coastguard ships are advanced catamarans that can be armed with missiles during the war. Taipei is seeking to bolster its defences in the face of threats from Beijing.
President Tsai Ing-wen has taken a great effort to modernise the nation’s military.
Beijing claims sovereignty over the island nation and has yet to renounce that it would use force to take it.
President Tsai praised the new coast guard ship’s “specific” ability to be able to be used in times of war.
She said: “If necessary, it can immediately be transformed into an important force for defence.”
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President Tsai attended the shipyard in Taiwan where the ships were constructed.
She added: “This also means that while the coastguard strengthens law enforcement, national defence forces will be strengthened too.”
The new ships are called the Tuo Chiang-class of corvettes.
The new ships have space for launching Hsiung Feng anti-ship and sea-to-land missiles.
The boats also have equipment for sea rescue operations.
The vessels are meant to take out larger warships while operating close to Taiwan’s shores.
The new ships have been called “aircraft carrier killers” by Taiwan’s navy.
This is to counter China’s two aircraft carriers.
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President Tsai has championed the concept of “asymmetric warfare”, including adding weapons that are mobile and harder to attack.
She has also boosted the island’s indigenous defence industry.
The nation has also planned to build eight submarines.
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