KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan – Taiwan has broken ground on a shipyard to produce submarines to counter China’s growing military threat.
The self-governing island’s President Tsai Ing-wen presided over a ceremony Thursday in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, saying submarines were an effective way to deter a foe from surrounding the island by sea.
Taiwan operates four aged submarines but pressure from China has prevented it from buying more abroad. Plans call for the shipyard to produce eight diesel craft.
Taiwan relies on America for much of its defense needs, but the U.S. now only produces nuclear powered submarines. Holland’s decision to sell Taiwan two 30 years ago resulted in a major diplomatic rift with Beijing.
Tsai has made reviving Taiwan’s indigenous armaments industry a priority for her administration.