Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are "viable" candidates to team with either Northrop Grumman or General Dynamics in building diesel submarines for Taiwan, a top US Navy admiral said. \nThe Navy will ask the companies for proposals within two months of receiving Taiwan's commitment for the money to design and build up to eight diesel submarines, Rear Admiral John Butler, the Navy program executive officer for submarines, said. \nThe George W. Bush administration offered Taiwan the submarines in 2001 as part of an arms package to counter the threat from China. China has 69 attack submarines; Taiwan has four. \nThe package -- which includes anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft, four destroyers and missiles -- has been delayed as lawmakers debate defense spending. \nButler's comments to reporters in Washington are the first update on the issue in months. He said Navy officials in Taiwan say they can't commit funds until 2006 and Raytheon and Lockheed will vie to help build the submarines. \nNorthrop and General Dynamics, the only two US makers of submarines, will compete for the work. \n"I expect the two shipbuilders to team up with whoever they want," Butler said. \nThe program's value hasn't been estimated. \nButler said the four companies were briefed on the Navy's notional plans. Lockheed and Raytheon participate in numerous Navy programs as systems integrators of complex electronic combat systems, radar, fire control and combat identification. \n"The Taiwanese said last month that they don't believe they can get the money obligated against this program before 2006," Butler said. \n"We believed that they would obligate funding in 2004 and we were ready to go in 2004," he said. "If they get us those funds earlier, we'll back the schedule up." \n"We are certainly interested but we haven't teamed with any hull-maker at this time," said David Shea, a Raytheon spokesman. \n"We are very interested in participating in the Taiwan submarine program," Lockheed Martin spokesman Jeff Adams said, without elaboration. \nNorthrop Grumman would build the submarines at its Pascagoula, Mississippi, facility and is still exploring its options as to US teammates and potential foreign subcontractors, Randy Belote, a company spokesman said. \nGeneral Dynamics' Electric Boat unit, Groton, Connecticut, is also exploring its options but hasn't determined where the submarines would be built, Neil Ruenzel, a EB spokesman said. \nUS President George W. Bush "made a commitment to help Taiwan procure its diesel-electric submarines," Pentagon spokesman Commander Jeff Davis said. "That was a commitment made in earnest and we intend to deliver on it." \nTaipei has yet to commit funding for any of the major weapons programs Bush proposed in the April 2001 package although they are close to advising the Pentagon they plan to buy the destroyers, Lieutenant General Tome Walters, the director of Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said in an interview. \nLegislators have been debating how much to spend on defense and what systems should be procured first, according to Shirley Kahn, an Asia affairs expert with the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. \nThe submarines, for example, were estimated by officials to require at least US$4.5 billion, the most costly element of the April 2001 package, Kahn said. The four Kidd-Class destroyers were estimated to cost about US$800 million, she said.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
CHANGING IT UP: With Bopomofo rarely used outside of Taiwan, the lawmaker said that Romanization would help the government in its internationalization efforts Tainan City Councilor Lee Chi-wei (李啟維) yesterday called for the use of Romanized spellings to make Taiwanese dialects and languages internationally recognizable. Speaking at a news conference in Tainan to mark International Mother Language Day, Lee said the use of zhuyin fuhao (注音符號, Mandarin phonetic symbols commonly known as Bopomofo) made it difficult to promote interest in, or recognition of, the nation’s dialects and languages, as the system is not commonly used outside of Taiwan. “The legislature has already passed the Development of National Languages Act (國家語言發展法), but under the current circumstances that act is like a candle in the wind,” he
CULTURAL CAPITAL: Taiwanese can act as ambassadors while teaching in the US, by exchanging views with their colleagues and friends, one Mandarin teacher said Most US students take Chinese classes because they want to know more about China, but Taiwanese teachers can make a change with more flexible pedagogic approaches and cultural exchanges, two local teachers said. Since the US last year canceled its Fulbright programs with China and Hong Kong, Taiwan has been granted a larger quota of scholarships, including the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Fulbright Program, which is funded by the US Department of State and comanaged in Taiwan by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange. American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen last month encouraged Taiwan to fill the gap left by the closures
CHINESE AGGRESSION: The bill seeks to empower Taiwan by calling for a free-trade pact and authorizing the US president to use military force to defend Taiwan US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced in the US Congress the Taiwan invasion prevention act, aiming to boost Taiwan’s ability to resist Chinese aggression. While the bill was introduced last year by Scott and former US representative Ted Yoho, it was not listed onto the formal agenda in the run-up to the US presidential election in November last year. “We can’t sit back and let Communist China continue to threaten our democratic ally Taiwan,” Scott, a Republican, wrote on Twitter, urging US President Joe Biden and other Democractic senators to “take a stand for democracy” and