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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Submarine procurement plan not dropped: defense ministry

ROC Central News Agency

2010/02/10 11:58:26

Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) The military has not dropped its plan to procure submarines to help beef up Taiwan's self-defense capability, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a statement Wednesday.

The ministry was responding to a United Daily News report that quoted unidentified military sources as saying the day before that Taiwan has substantively dropped its plan to purchase submarines from the United States, a move the sources said would intangibly help mend a rift in U.S.-China relations.

The ministry insisted, however, that the report is not true. Stressing that submarines are indispensible to realize a strategy of "resolute defense and effective deterrence, " the military has for years put submarines on its priority procurement list, the statement said.

"We will uphold this arms procurement policy to demonstrate our determination to safeguard our national security, " the MND statement said.

It further said Taiwan hopes the United States will continue providing Taiwan with necessary defensive weapons and equipment in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act so that Taiwan will be more confident in promoting peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. (By Lee Ming-chung and Sofia Wu) enditem/ls

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