Taiwan President commissions indigenous-made naval warship

The ship is designed to have air defence capabilities and can carry anti-ship missiles

Taiwan’s president oversaw the commissioning of a new, domestically made navy warship, on Thursday, as part of the island’s plan to boost indigenous defence capacity, amid heightened tensions with China.

President Tsai Ing-wen who was visiting a naval base in Su’ao, on the island’s east coast, said that the ship “proves that on the path to becoming independent in national defence, no matter what difficulties arise, we can overcome them one by one.” The ship, known as the Ta Jiang and nicknamed a “carrier killer”, was built by Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co., a Taiwanese company. The ship is designed to have air defence capabilities and can carry anti-ship missiles.

It is the first of six of its kind that will be commissioned by the navy.

Ms. Tsai has made boosting Taiwan’s domestic defence industry a priority. She has pushed the military aviation industry to produce new trainer jets and called for the development of more sophisticated systems by utilizing the island’s high-tech industries.

In addition, Taiwan is currently producing its own submarine after four years of research and design. It decided to build its own, after Beijing successfully prevented it from purchasing them from abroad in recent years through the use of economic and diplomatic threats.

China claims that Taiwan is a part of its national territory, although the two have functioned independently since a civil war in 1949.

In the past few years, Taiwan has faced increasing harassment from Beijing, which has sent fighter jets towards the island on a near-daily basis.

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