China cautions countries participating in Taiwan Submarine Program

China cautions countries participating in Taiwan Submarine Program

China on Monday firmly opposed transferring of technology to Taiwan to make submarines. Countries which have offered to participate in building submarines for Taiwan risk severely damaging relations with China. Countries which have relations with Beijing should earnestly abide by the one-China principle, Beijing has asserted. China claims that Taiwan which broke away in 1949 is part of Chinese mainland and is opposed to any country having diplomatic contacts with Taipei.

Taiwan media last year reported that the United States (US) had approved the Transfer of Technology (ToT) that will allow Taiwan to produce its own submarines. Enterprises from the US, Europe, Japan and India demonstrated their interest to take part in the project, Xinhuanet reported Tuesday. Six companies- two from Europe, two from the US, one each from India and Japan have submitted design proposals for the submarines. However, the report did not give any more details of the six companies. The designs would come up for approval by Taiwanese government in March this year.

Republic of China (Taiwan) NavyHai Lung-class submarine

“China is firmly opposed to any country to have any military links with Taiwan. China is consistent and clear cut. We urge the US and other relevant countries to fully understand how sensitive and harmful this matter is,” Xinhuanet quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying as saying. She urged these countries to adhere to the one-China principle and not to allow their enterprises to take part in Taiwan’s submarine manufacture project in any forms. “They should prudently and properly handle Taiwan related issues thus avoiding harming of bilateral relations and peace stability across the Taiwan straits,” Hua added.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese media reported that as the indigenous submarine program nears the construction phase for its first prototype, China is getting worried and is expressing its unease by issuing warnings to other nations. Taiwan’s MoD recently stated that it expects to submit a complete timeline for manufacturing, testing, and commissioning of the first prototype vessel to the Legislative Yuan by March. Construction may even begin by the end of the 2019, with the first vessel expected to be complete by 2025, Taiwan News reported Tuesday.