Taiwan’s new coast guard flagship to counter China’s ‘grey zone’ risk
The civilian-run coast guard, which might function as a department of Taiwan’s navy throughout wartime, is usually concerned in confrontations with Chinese language fishing and sand-dredging ships which Taiwan says function illegally in its waters.
Chinese language-claimed Taiwan has termed these as “grey zone” techniques designed to subdue the island, looking for to put on Taiwan down with repeated drills and actions in or close to its airspace and waters.
Attending the commissioning of the domestically-made $100.52 million (T$2.8 billion) Chiayi within the southern metropolis of Kaohsiung, President Tsai Ing-wen mentioned the phrase “Taiwan” in English might be step by step printed on all coast guard vessels.
This “demonstrates our willpower to defend the blue territory of the Republic of China”, Tsai mentioned, utilizing Taiwan’s formal identify.
Coast guard fleet department director Hsieh Ching-chin advised Reuters the Chiayi might be dispatched to Taiwan’s western coast which faces China in addition to Taiwan-controlled islands within the disputed South China Sea.
“We are going to defend our sovereignty and fishing rights,” he mentioned.
The 4,000-ton Chiayi is the coast guard’s largest ship.
The vessel has three high-pressure water cannons, which the coast guard makes use of in encounters with Chinese language fishing boats and sand dredgers that illegally function in Taiwanese waters, in addition to a a number of rocket launcher system and machine weapons.
In a report back to Parliament this week, Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council, which oversees the coast guard, mentioned China is aggressively increasing its maritime militia, looking for to create “gray-zone conflicts” within the area.
“So long as they dare to cross the border, we are going to arrest them,” Hsieh mentioned, referring to Chinese language militias disguised as fishing boats.
The Chiayi is a part of authorities plans to counter the rising Chinese language risk, which additionally features a goal of constructing 141 new coast guard ships by the tip of 2027, it mentioned.