Washington D.C., Dec. 20 (CNA) The head of an American think tank suggested Thursday that Taiwan should purchase submarines to strengthen its naval deployment amid the growing military imbalance between Taiwan and China
Taiwan can put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense that includes submarines, argued Scott Bates, president of the Washington-based Center for National Policy (CNP), at a panel discussion in which he and two other U.S. scholars shared their observations from a trip to Taiwan in early December.
“It seems this (submarine) is a perfect naval asset for the defense of Taiwan in the protection of freedom and navigation in the Straits, in the South China and in the East China seas. And the current array of submarine forces that Taiwan has is not up to achieving those missions,” Bates said.
Although Taiwan’s policies do not include attacking Chinese civilians, its Air Force and Navy are not currently strong enough to deter China’s People’s Liberation Army, Bates said.
Taiwan’s people may currently be unwilling to spend too much on national defense, which can cost a lot, but Taiwan still has to recognize the military imbalance across the Taiwan Strait, Bates warned.
One of the ways the country’s military wants to address the imbalance is by buying advanced F-16 C/D fighter jets from the United States to bolster its arsenal, but Washington has yet to agree to the sale.
Bates suggested, however, that Taiwan consider other air assets than the more expensive F-16 C/D aircraft.
“I would suggest the Taiwanese consider the development of drone assets as well for the air. I think there are a lot of air assets that they can think about that are not as expensive and so that each year you’re not set up for the idea that if you get this one magic system all will be well,” Bates said.
“I think that other options need to be developed. (That) doesn’t mean you give up on getting those other assets but you look at some new ones as well.”
Taiwan’s Air Force can hardly be compared with that of China, Bates said, but it could put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense.
Bates also suggested that the U.S. government provide military training and defensive arms to Taiwan.
Source – Focus Taiwan