Taiwan’s new submarine, warplanes cannot change widening military gap with mainland

The island of Taiwan will reportedly usher in new progress on several types of weapons and equipment, including the island’s first indigenous submarine prototype, F-16V fighter jets and an advanced supersonic jet trainer. However, no matter how the island develops or purchases arms, the great disparity in military strength across the Straits cannot be changed, said experts, warning that resisting reunification by force is bound to meet a dead end.

Local media on the island reported Sunday that a keel-laying ceremony for Taiwan’s first indigenous submarine prototype was scheduled for Tuesday.

Keel-laying is a very early stage of the ship’s construction, and will take a long time before it is ready, observers said.

Taiwan has limited technological capacity for independent construction, and Taiwan’s shipbuilding industry will face huge challenges in developing the submarine, a Beijing-based military expert told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Monday. It cannot be ruled out that the US could raise the price to transfer its technology to help Taiwan in the construction, the expert noted.

Even if the ship is eventually finished, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will continue to extend its lead in submarine and anti-submarine technology, said the expert.

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