søndag 2. mai 2021

Taiwan's new coast guard flagship to counter China's 'gray zone' threat

Taiwan commissioned into service a new coast guard flagship Thursday to help counter China's "gray zone" war tactics against the island. The civilian-run coast guard, which would operate as a branch of Taiwan's navy during wartime, is often involved in confrontations with Chinese fishing and sand-dredging ships which Taiwan says operate illegally in its waters.

Chinese-claimed Taiwan has termed these as "gray zone" tactics designed to subdue the island, seeking to wear Taiwan down with repeated drills and activities in or near its airspace and waters. Attending the commissioning of the domestically-made $100.52 million (T$2.8 billion) Chiayi in the southern city of Kaohsiung, President Tsai Ing-wen said the word "Taiwan" in English will be gradually printed on all coast guard vessels.

This "demonstrates our determination to defend the blue territory of the Republic of China", Tsai said, using Taiwan's formal name. Coast guard fleet branch director Hsieh Ching-chin told Reuters the Chiayi will be dispatched to Taiwan's western coast which faces China as well as Taiwan-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea.