At 70 years old, Taiwan's World War II-era "Hai Pao" submarine would not be out of place in a museum, but the antique vessel is still part of the navy -- a sign of the island's ongoing struggle to strengthen its fleet. The sub's interior gleams with highly polished copper and is the pride of its crew. But the fact that the former US warship is still on active duty is testament to Taiwan's decades-long battle to build up its submarine force, with potential suppliers wary of jeopardising relations with China. China has opposed any arms sales to the island, which it regards as part of its territory, to be reunified by force if necessary. Yet a modern submarine fleet is critical for Taiwan's defence, analysts say. "Submarines would be a credible, survivable deterrent to an opponent's use of force, and thus make use of force less likely," said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, a US-based think-tank on Asian security and public policy. "They would complicate (China's) People's Liberation Army planning in a variety of scenarios." - Submarine dreams - Then-US president George W. Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines to Taiwan in April 2001, but they never materialised as Washington focused on its development of nuclear subs. Germany and Spain, two of the world's few submarine exporting countries, have also declined to supply Taiwan in what commentators interpret as fear of offending China. Aside from two ageing subs built in the 1940s, Taiwan's navy operates two other Dutch-built submarines which were commissioned in the late 1980s. The number is in stark contrast to the Chinese navy, which now owns more than 60 submarines, including 14 that are nuclear-powered. An official evaluation this year of a potential domestic submarine-building project was "pretty positive", said lawmaker Lin Yu-fang, of the government's defence committee. "The government might set aside a budget to officially launch the Indigenous Defense Submarine project," he said, though the proposals have yet to be given the green light. Taiwan will seek to collaborate with the United States on the project, says Lin. The US remains the island's leading arms supplier, despite a lack of diplomatic ties. Taiwan produced 130 Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF) jets with technological aid from the US in the 1990s. That project came after the US had refused to sell jet fighters to Taiwan, under pressure from Beijing. Lin and a parliamentary group recently returned from Washington, where they discussed defence supply plans with government officials and congressmen, focusing on the potential sub programme. "They used to be cold on the issue (of submarines), but this time was different. They were listening attentively when we raised the issue again. They have changed their attitude because we have become active on the deal," Lin said. Supporters of the project say the US could reduce political pressure from Beijing if it supplies fighting systems and know-how, rather than the submarines themselves. - Vintage heroes - For now, Taiwan's two World War II-era Guppy submarines -- including the "Hai Pao", whose name means "Seal" -- remain central to their fleet. Taiwan bought the "Hai Pao", then called "Tusk", from the US in 1973 and the vintage sub recently returned from the island's annual biggest naval wargame. The fleet also includes the ageing "Hai Shih", or "Sea Lion" -- another former US submarine built in the 1940s. Captain of the "Hai Pao" Liu Si-wei told AFP that his US peers were astonished to hear the antique subs were still in service. Liu finished an advanced submarine officer training programme in the US last year and several of his classmates are now captains of US nuclear-powered submarines. "When they heard that the two submarines were still on active duty, several of my classmates said 'fantastic'. They told me, if permitted, they would like very much to have a look at them," Liu said from on board the "Hai Pao", docked at the southern Tso-ying naval base. The navy is planning to spend more than Tw$800 million ($26.35 million) to overhaul one of the old subs next year. Both will get new hulls as they are currently unable to dive more than 20 metres (66 feet) -- less than a tenth of their design depth -- due to warped pressure hulls and metal fatigue. The island's ultimate ambitions to build its own subs are not pie in the sky, says Stokes -- Taiwan has already built a 400,000-tonne oil tanker and seven navy frigates, among other vessels. "The submarine programme would mostly likely be based on a new design or a significant modification of an existing design," he said. "Taiwan's shipbuilding industry is one of the best in the world."
Stars arrived at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the 2022 BET Awards celebrating Black...
Kendall Jenner's newest nude snap comes two months after she shared a topless photo of herself lounging poolside
- Yahoo Celebrity
Ben Affleck's son Samuel, 10, is "fine" after a very close call in a Lamborghini. Ben and Jennifer Lopez were there as it played out.
Y’all this is so hot.
- Women's Health
'Mad Men' star January Jones posted a photo in her underwear showing off her super sculpted abs and long, nude legs post knee surgery. She does Lagree workouts.
- The Daily Beast
Ukrainian State Emergency Service / Handout/Anadolu Agency via GettyRussia fired a series of rockets at a shopping center in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on Monday, raising fears that Russia is stepping up its attacks on civilian structures regardless of the loss of life.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday there were more than a thousand civilians inside the shopping mall and the casualties to come might bring even more shock and horror to Ukrainian people already confronting so much deat
What may have been Colin Kaepernick’s last shot at a National Football League job didn’t go very well, according to Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Speaking to urban news site VladTV, Sapp didn’t hold back when Kaepernick’s May workout with the Las Vegas Raiders came up in conversation. The VladTV host mentioned that there were […]
Georgia Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams explains the change in her position on abortion: There is 'no place in that medical decision for ideology or for politicians'
"I understand the sincere concerns. But those are religious concerns, or often concerns driven by personal morality," Abrams said in a CNN interview.
- Palm Beach Daily News
Matthew Wolff will be joined by former PGA Tour winner Carlos Ortiz in this week's LIV event outside of Portland, Oregon, its first tourney in U.S.
Celebrities dressed up for the BET Awards Sunday in Los Angeles. Lizzo dazzled in a feathery gown, while Saucy Santana wore furry neon boots.
The Prince of Wales made headlines after a Sunday Times investigation revealed that Charles accepted bags of cash from a Qatari politician years ago.
How girls think about their bodies is subjective, but their perception is heavily influenced by a variety of external factors—including their own parents. And, as a result, we may be passing down body image...
Mono mono twins are very rare. One mom shared a her success story after finding out she was pregnant with mono mono twins.
(Bloomberg) -- Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company merging with Trump Media & Technology Group, tumbled after disclosing that a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York issued subpoenas to the company and members of its board of directors. Most Read from BloombergRussia Slips Into Historic Default as Sanctions Muddy Next StepsHyundai Quietly Climbs the EV Sales Charts and Elon Musk NoticesA $2 Trillion Free-Fall Rattles Crypto to the CoreRep. M
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. Here's how to pronounce the royal family nickname.
- CBS News
Officials have ruled out a stampede and said autopsies would determine if the deaths could be linked to poisoning.
- Good Housekeeping
'The Big Bang Theory' cast member and 'Jeopardy!' cohost Mayim Bialik opened up to actor Justin Long about comments people have told her in public. 'Big Bang Theory' fans showed up for both of them on Instagram.
- The Wrap
"I don't believe in abortion, at any time," Hostin said
The impact of Kavanaugh's confirmation on the 2018 elections may reveal how the reversal of Roe v. Wade could impact this year's midterms
40 US House seats flipped to Democratic candidates following Kavanaugh's confirmation, including 27 where GOP candidates were previously leading in the polls.
- Good Housekeeping
Actress, TV personality and 'Food Network' chef Valerie Bertinelli cheekily responded to a TikTok comment on a recent video of hers and fans absolutely loved it.