Taiwan on Thursday unveiled its first domestically manufactured submarine. This project is a critical component of Taiwan’s overarching strategy to enhance its naval defenses, particularly in the face of heightened tensions with China.
President Tsai Ing-wen hosted the commissioning ceremony held at the shipyard where it was constructed in Kaohsiung. The submarine in question was the diesel-electric vessel christened “Narwhal,” paying homage to a mythical Chinese fish.
Reminding those in attendance about the island-nation’s current security situation, President Tsai stated “even if there are risks, and no matter how many challenges there are, Taiwan must take this step and allow the self-reliant national defense policy to grow and flourish on our land.”
The submarine was built by the domestic firm, CSBC Corp, at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. The submarine will reportedly go on sea trials before being officially incorporated into the navy in 2024.
Responding to this development, Col. Wu Qian, a Chinese military spokesperson said, “no matter how many weapons the Democratic Progressive Party buys, it will not obstruct the greater trend of reunification with the motherland.”
In recent years, China’s military has escalated its maneuvers around Taiwan, deploying both air and naval assets to harass the island.