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June 27, 2017

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Taiwan must build its own submarines: defense minister

TAIPEI -- China's recent move to sail an air carrier near Taiwan has highlighted the need for Taiwan to go ahead with a plan to build its own submarines, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said Friday.

The indigenous submarine project will not only protect the country's territorial security but also allow Taiwan to contribute to regional security, Feng said while addressing the opening of an exhibition on the history of the Navy's submarine fleet.

In what was seen by many as sabre-rattling on the Chinese side, the Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, sailed south in the Pacific Ocean off Taiwan's eastern coast on Christmas Day before entering the South China Sea.

On Jan. 11, the Liaoning passed through the Taiwan Strait on its way back to its base in northeastern China after conducting training exercises in the South China Sea.

The last time the aircraft carrier transited the Taiwan Strait was in November 2013.

Also during the opening ceremony, Feng told reporters that his ministry made public related information to inform the public on the Liaoning's movements, but stressed that "no special situations" were detected.

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