Taipei: Taiwan is considering purchasing four German-built submarines that had been rejected by the Greek Navy, a report said Wednesday.
According to Next Magazine, Taiwan’s military approached Kiel-based shipbuilder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) for four Class 214s after Athens rejected them for not meeting standard requirements.
“The defence ministry has sent personnel to Germany, who have discussed a deal with the shipbuilder,” the popular Taipei-based weekly said, citing an unnamed military source.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said it was not aware of the report and would continue negotiations to buy submarines from the United States, the island’s leading arms supplier.
Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the end of a 1949 civil war, but Beijing has repeatedly threatened to invade should the island declare formal independence.
Beijing has previously asked the United States to permanently end arm sales to Taiwan. Washington is the island’s leading arms supplier, despite switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei
to Beijing in 1979.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who took over from independence-leaning Chen Shui-bian in 2008, had said the island needed to secure defensive weapons from the United States despite warming ties with China.
The Taiwanese navy currently operates a fleet of four submarines, but only two of them, Dutch-built, could be deployed in the event of war. The other two were built by the United States in the 1940s.