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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan Navy does not confirm report on sources of submarines

ROC Central News Agency

2012/02/20 18:56:37

By Elaine Hou

Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) U.S. submarines remain among the country's arms procurement priorities, Taiwan's Navy said in a statement on Monday, making no confirmation of a local report that three countries are offering the nation submarines.

Taipei and Washington are currently in talks regarding the arms sales, the Navy added.

The statement came in response to a Chinese-language United Daily News report on Monday that a total of three countries are offering to help Taiwan build its own submarines or sell Taiwan submarines.

The report also said that the Navy will brief senior government officials and legislators on the issue to seek budgets within two months.

The Navy, however, said it "has never heard of such information," but will not reject the opportunity to obtain submarines from other foreign countries.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said no military officials have talked to him on the issue.

The acquisition of submarines is key to Taiwan's national defense, Wang added.

In 2001, the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush offered to provide eight diesel-electric submarines. However, no significant progress in the sale has been made so far.

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