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Taiwan’s Illustrative Minehunter Troubles

Shang-Su Wu
RUSI Defence Systems, 7 February 2018
Maritime Forces, Pacific
Taiwan has had industrial financial viability problems with the construction of new minehunting vessels. These problems are indicative of the difficulties Taipei faces in its indigenous military modernisation efforts aimed at ameliorating its military inferiority vis-à-vis China.

After years of doubt surrounding its financial condition, the Ching Fu Shipbuilding Company, which previously won the contract to produce Taiwan’s new minehunting vessels, has admitted deep financial problems. As a result, the Republic of China Navy (ROCN) has been forced to cancel the contract.

Whether it is directly taken over by Ching Fu’s larger competitor, the CSBC Corporation, or a fresh tender and selection process is launched, a significant delay in the delivery of these vessels is now unavoidable. Acquisition delays may not be too serious for great powers, but they are an unfortunate omen for a small state with ambitious plans for indigenous military modernisation.

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