0729: Sherman’s Visit to China, Taiwan’s New Stealth Corvette

Taiwan Rejects China’s Sovereignty Claim, while Thanking the U.S. for Raising Concerns about Taiwan

Taiwan’s government rejected China’s territorial claim over Taiwan, while thanking U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan on her visit to the Chinese city of Tianjin. During Sherman’s meetings with Chinese officials on July 26, China has blamed the U.S. for what it called a “stalemate” in bilateral relations and accused Washington of “demonising” China.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng told Sherman that the China-U.S. relationship is in a “stalemate” because some Americans portray China as an “imagined enemy.” “The hope may be that by demonising China, the US could somehow . . . blame China for its own structural problems,” he added. Xie urged the U.S. “to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy,” and demanded the lifting of sanctions and restrictions targeting Chinese officials, news outlets, and companies.

In her meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Sherman expressed concerns about human rights issues, “including Beijing’s anti-democratic crackdown in Hong Kong; the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang; abuses in Tibet; and the curtailing of media access and freedom of the press,” according to a State Department readout. “She also spoke about our [U.S.] concerns about Beijing’s conduct in cyberspace; across the Taiwan Strait; and in the East and South China seas.”

Minister Wang, however, told Sherman that to “prevent Chinese-U.S. relations from further deteriorating or even losing control,” the U.S. should respect China’s “bottom-line” positions, including on Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. “Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that has not changed and would never change,” and “China has the right to take any action needed to restrain [Taiwan independence],” Wang said, according to the summary.

On July 27, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) thanked the U.S. for voicing its concerns about Taiwan, and rejected China’s territorial claim over Taiwan. Taiwan is a democratic country with independent sovereignty, which belongs to its 23.5 million people, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou said. “Only Taiwanese have the right to determine Taiwan’s future, and only the elected government of Taiwan can represent Taiwanese on the international stage,” she added.

No matter how the Chinese government distorts its claims about Taiwan, Taiwanese would only be firmer in defending their sovereignty and democracy, Ou said. “Taiwan would continue to work with like-minded partners to maintain and advance peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” she said.

[1] The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/26/us-accused-of-demonising-china-as-high-level-talks-begin-in-tianjin
[2] Nikkei Asia: https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/US-China-tensions/China-presses-US-to-drop-sanctions-in-high-level-talks
[3] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2021/07/28/2003761603

Taiwan Navy Receives New Stealth Corvette and Speeds up Indigenous Submarine Construction

On July 27, Taiwan’s Navy took delivery of its second Tuo Chiang-class stealth multi-mission corvette, the Ta Chiang (PGG-619), as part of an ongoing effort to increase the capability of Taiwan’s military to deter Chinese threats.

The Ta Chiang has a maximum speed of 30 knots, displacement of 685 tonnes, and an operational range of 1,800 nautical miles. It is Taiwan’s first small size warship that has area air defense capabilities and is effective at asymmetric warfare, the Navy Command said.

The Ta Chiang has been dubbed by Taiwan’s military experts as an “aircraft-carrier killer,” since its arsenal includes the Hsiung Feng II and III anti-ship missiles, a 76 mm cannon, and Sea Sword II medium-range missiles. Taiwan Navy is hoping to obtain another five improved-variant of Tuo Chiang-class corvettes before 2023.

In addition, it is reported that Taiwan’s first Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) is now set to be launched in 2023 ahead of schedule, because of the rising threats from China. Moreover, a total of 46 MK-48 Mod6 torpedoes were schedule to be delivered by the U.S. by 2028, now Taiwan’s military is trying to have all of them delivered by 2026.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202107270030
[2] Naval News: https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/07/roc-navy-commissions-her-first-upgraded-and-modified-catamaran-corvette/
[3] Naval News: https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/07/taiwans-first-indigenous-submarine-to-be-launched-ahead-of-schedule/