Taiwan denies report of U.S. help to build submarines
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, May 30 (CNA) Taiwan's defense minister dismissed a report Wednesday that the United States may send technical specialists to Taiwan to help the country build submarines.
"There is no such information and it is a groundless report," Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said at a legislative hearing.
Taipei-based Up Media reported Wednesday that based on an agreement between CSBC Corp. Taiwan and a U.S. submarine design team, the team has made a request to U.S. government authorities for approval to help Taiwan build submarines.
The request is now being reviewed, the report said, and should it be given the green light, the design team will send over 200 specialists to work at CSBC and take part in Taiwan's "indigenous defense submarine program" as early as the end of 2018.
Though he dismissed the report, Yen affirmed ongoing defense ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.
"We appreciate the long-term support of the U.S. Congress by advocating bills friendly to Taiwan that help strengthen Taiwan's defense capabilities and boost two-way military exchanges," Yen said.
"These exchanges are aimed at cementing peace and stability in the region, and we will continue to deepen bilateral consultations based on U.S. assessments," the minister said.
On May 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the US$717 billion National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2019 that included provisions to help strengthen Taiwan's military capabilities.
(By Claudia Liu and Flor Wang)
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