U.S. congressman presses for sale of submarines to Taiwan
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) asked the government to find ways to support Taiwan's acquisition of diesel electric submarines, including export control considerations for technical assistance and other export licensing in support of a Taiwan submarine program.
"I also urge the Department of Defense to permit and encourage American companies with expertise in areas related to the development of submarines to support Taiwan's establishment of an indigenous submarine program," Andrews said in the letter dated June 4.
"To this end, the DOD should convene such integrated product teams as may be necessary to determine the technologies that Taiwan will require, and which are releasable, to facilitate a successful program."
In 2001, then U.S. President George W. Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines as part of an arms package to Taiwan. Little progress, however, has been achieved on the sale over the years.
(By Tony Liao and Y.F. Low)