PRINCETON, New Jersey, (CNA) – Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Chang Guan-chung (張冠群) said Monday that Taiwan is still striving to develop its national defense industry even if doing so is like cracking a hard nut.
Chang, who is attending the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference in Princeton, was speaking at a press conference on Taiwan’s desire to have a more independent defense sector while also extending exchanges with the United States on defense issues.
He reiterated that Taiwan needs to move toward self-sufficiency on national defense and develop its defense industry if it wants to drive the development and transformation of basic industries in the country.
The development of national defense technologies, such as fifth generation wireless systems (5G), will benefit the public because they can eventually be adapted for household use, Chang said.
He noted Taiwan’s success in developing a wide array of advanced missiles, including the Tien Kung series of surface-to-air anti-ballistic missiles and the supersonic anti-ship Hsiung Feng-3 missile.
Taiwan also plans to build eight submarines if it is not able to acquire them from other countries, he added.
At the same time, however, Taiwan has also requested assistance from the United States on defense equipment, services and cooperation and received a positive response from the U.S. during the conference, the deputy defense minister said.
Chang insisted that Taiwan has made significant progress in developing defense technologies, which is why he has stressed cooperating with the U.S. on an equal footing in the defense realm to create benefits for both sides.
Arguing that independent development was not contradictory to foreign weapons acquisition, Chang said Taiwan’s indigenous development programs will still depend to a certain extent on their ability to acquire key sensitive technologies from the U.S. •
By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao