Why Taiwan Needs Submarines

Because of the disparity in physical size, economy, and geography, Taiwan’s maritime security in the face of the Chinese threat is a challenging problem. China has the wherewithal to simultaneously bombard Taiwan (especially with its large arsenal of short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles), while also being able to deploy forces farther afield of Taiwan’s immediate environment. For Taipei, the key to a successful defense of the island is to hold out long enough for the United States to intervene decisively. Taiwan’s military must therefore be able to simultaneously defend the island, while also nonetheless being able to deny the Chinese regime the ability to easily or rapidly isolate the island. Submarines have long played a role in Taiwan’s defense calculations. Given the relative weakness of China’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities, submarines would pose a significant threat to any amphibious force.

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