Frictions in the Taiwan Strait have been on the rise after the United States sailed its warships through the narrow waterway last month. The move drew criticism from Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory in line with the One-China principle that the US backs.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has promised that her country would not “concede one step” in self-defence and backed up her claim by adding two former USS frigates to Taiwan’s fleet.
“We want to send a clear and firm message from Taiwanese people to the international community that we will not concede one step in defending… Taiwan and protecting our free and democratic way of life,” Tsai said, as quoted by AFP, after inspecting the ships that were officially commissioned at a military base in southern Taiwan on Thursday.
Although the PM didn’t mention what caused Taiwan to boost its defence capability, it was hardly a surprise that she went on to scold China’s military actions in the region as an “attempt to weaken Taiwan’s sovereignty” and “damage regional peace and stability.”
The two Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates were previously named USS Taylor and USS Gary. They were decommissioned from the US Navy in 2015 after more than 30 years in service and approved for sale to Taiwan under the new names, ROCS Ming-chuan and ROCS Feng Jia.
Tsai Ing-wen, who took office in 2016, leads the…