Lawmakers across party lines criticized the Ministry of National Defense yesterday for what they called its passive attitude toward Taiwan’s development of its own submarines and urged it to act more aggressively in efforts to obtain the craft.
Several legislators of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) accused the ministry of not following up strongly enough on a statement by local shipbuilder CSBC Corp that it has the ability to manufacture submarines.
They also accused the ministry of taking a lackadaisical approach to acquiring submarines from abroad.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Speaking at a legislative interpellation session, Deputy Minister of National Defense Chao Shih-chang (趙世璋) said the ministry supports the idea of Taiwan developing its own submarines.
However, he said that factors such as design blueprints, key construction technologies and problems with kitting the vessels out with weaponry and other military equipment have to be addressed before the project can be launched.
CSBC chairman Paul Tang (譚泰平), who also attended the session, said he was “confident that the company is capable of building the submarine platform,” but that it does not have the ability to obtain the onboard weaponry systems or other needed military equipment. The lawmakers also brought up the issue that no significant progress has been made since the US government agreed in 2001 to help Taiwan acquire eight diesel-electric submarines.
Asked by DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) whether the ministry was taking any steps toward acquiring submarines from a foreign country or building the subs by itself, Chao said Washington was still assessing the situation.
KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) also accused the ministry of failing to act in response to the idea of CSBC building the submarines.
“We should at least show our resolve to build subs if we want further help from the US,” Lin said.
Meanwhile, Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) said that if CSBC can overcome the weaknesses it has pointed out, the ministry would be willing to cooperate on domestic production of submarines. Kao added that Taiwan still wants to acquire eight more submarines.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease