Updated March 28th, 2024 at 17:45 IST

Taiwan Commissions 2 New Navy Ships Amidst Rising Aggression from China

These domestically produced catamarans with stealth capabilities signify Taiwan's commitment to strengthening its maritime defenses.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Tuo Chiang class corvettes | Image:AP

Taipei: Taiwan has recently commissioned two new navy ships in response to the escalating threat posed by China, which has significantly increased its naval and air force activities around the island. China claims Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to annex it by force if necessary.

The newly commissioned Tuo Chiang class corvettes, the first of six domestically produced catamarans with stealth capabilities, represent Taiwan's commitment to bolstering its maritime defences. Despite their relatively small size, these ships are highly agile and are armed with a variety of missiles and deck guns designed to counter larger Chinese vessels and rockets.  

President Tsai's defence initiatives

President Tsai Ing-wen, overseeing the commissioning ceremony at the northern port of Suao, emphasized her administration's determination to revitalize Taiwan's defence industries. Tsai's efforts, including the fast-tracking of jet trainer production and the construction of Taiwan's first homebuilt submarines, have faced opposition from the Nationalist Party, which leans towards eventual unification with China.

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has been rapidly expanding its military capabilities, aiming to assert its territorial claims in the Pacific, South China Sea, and along its border with India. Despite its significant military presence, China has not engaged in a major conflict since its 1979 invasion of Vietnam, but its growing military budget and economic expansion have raised concerns among regional neighbours.  


Growing concerns and countermeasures near Taiwan

Recent tensions between patrol vessels near Taiwan-controlled islands have raised fears of potential conflict, prompting heightened vigilance from Taiwan's military. Despite being outnumbered, Taiwan's armed forces have been strengthened by new weaponry and an extension of national service. The Defense Ministry remains on high alert for any potential Chinese aggression, particularly targeting leaders seen as separatists by Beijing.  


In response to planned Taiwanese military exercises near the Taiwan-held island group of Kinmen, Beijing has criticized such actions, labelling them as provocative and destined to fail. The ongoing friction underscores the complex relationship between Taiwan and China, with tensions continuing to simmer amidst regional geopolitical dynamics. 


Published March 28th, 2024 at 17:45 IST