Taiwan Flexes First Domestic Submarine Amid Rising Tensions With Xi Jinping

Taiwan has launched its first domestically assembled submarine, a significant step towards bolstering its naval defenses against increasing threat from Xi Jinping.

The unveiling comes against a backdrop of increased Chinese military activity in the waters surrounding Taiwan. The island nation is ramping up efforts to modernize its aging fleet in response to potential threats from China’s People’s Liberation Army, reported Bloomberg

The prototype named “Hai Kun” underwent its first sea trial on Thursday at the CSBC Corp.’s Kaohsiung dockyard. This is part of a multibillion-dollar program to develop eight new vessels.

See Also: China Outlines ‘Interconnected Living’ Plan For Taiwan As Xi Jinping Eyes ‘Peaceful Reunification’

Despite China’s claim over Taiwan, the latter insists on its de facto sovereignty. The submarine initiative has received covert international assistance, including technology and expertise from countries like the U.S., U.K., Australia, South Korea, India, Spain and Canada.

China opposes any ties with Taiwan, including arms sales, leading to clandestine dealings with Taipei. Taiwan currently has four submarines; two from the World War II era used for training and two procured from the Netherlands in the 1980s.

After sea trials, the “Hai Kun” is slated for delivery to the Navy before the end of next year.

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Photo by Zbitnev on Shutterstock

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