Taiwan’s leader oversaw the commissioning of a new domestically made navy warship yesterday as part of the island’s plan to boost indigenous defense capacity amid heightened tensions with China.
Tsai Ing-wen spoke at a naval base in Su’ao, on the island’s east coast, saying the ship “proves that on the path to becoming independent in national defense, 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 defense capabilities and can carry anti-ship missiles.
It is the first of six of its kind that will be commissioned by the navy.
Tsai has made boosting Taiwan’s domestic defense industry a priority. She has pushed the military aviation industry with the production of new trainer jets and called for the development of more sophisticated systems by utilizing the island’s high-tech industries.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian noted Tsai’s commissioning of the warship, saying “there is no way out for Taiwan’s separatist forces to use military means to confront the mainland.” MDT/AP