The Taiwanese military recently showcased some of its domestically-manufactured warships in what many see as a clear message to China amid increasing tensions.
Over the weekend, the island nation held a naval exercise off the coast of Keelung in which the newly commissioned Ta Chiang and another corvette were seen conducting tracking and firing simulations in rough sea conditions.
Dubbed “aircraft carrier killers,” the 500-ton corvettes are armed with Sea Sword II medium-range air defense missiles, anti-ship missiles, 76-millimeter cannons, and close-in weapon systems.
Military analyst Shu Hsiao-huang described the warships as “mobile, stealthy, fast, and powerful,” but admitted they are just suited for “gray zone” patrols rather than full combat.
“We want the People’s Liberation Army to think twice before it acts,” Taiwanese Army Command official Col. Sun Li-fang told local media.
Beijing has regarded Taiwan as part of China’s territory under the “One China Principle” and has stepped up military drills in the island’s vicinity to put pressure on the Taiwanese government.