The Taiwan Coast Guard, which is responsible for protecting fisheries and safeguarding human rights, accepted the second Anping-class patrol ship “Chenggong” built by Taiwan’s CITIC Shipbuilding Company on Friday (June 25) ahead of schedule, and the newly built patrol ship will join Taiwan’s mobile sea patrol team in the eastern coast area to carry out its tasks.
According to the Taiwan Central News Agency, the ship was originally scheduled for acceptance and delivery by the end of October this year, but due to the tacit cooperation and efficient operation between the Coast Guard and CITIC Shipbuilding Company, the construction project progressed ahead of schedule and the acceptance and delivery ceremony was held on Friday, four months ahead of schedule.
Taiwan Executive Yuan Ocean Affairs Commission Chairman Lee Chung-wai and CITIC Shipbuilding Chairman Han Bixiang attended the ceremony held at CITIC’s Gaoding shipyard. Captain Liu Kang-yi was presented with a model of the ship and wished the ship a safe and successful sea duty in the future.
The first Anping-class patrol ship built in Taiwan was launched in December last year. President Tsai Ing-wen attended the launching ceremony of the first Anping-class patrol ship and presided over the naming of the second Anping-class patrol ship as the “Chenggong”, which was successfully delivered on Friday.
The waters around Matsu Island in Taiwan are often frequented by Chinese sand pumping vessels, some of which even enter Taiwan’s waters to seize resources, leaving Taiwan’s Coast Guard with a lot of headaches. Illegal sand mining activities by Chinese sand pumping vessels have even resulted in the erosion of Taiwan’s coastline.
When Tsai Ing-wen attended the launch of the first Anping ship and the naming ceremony of the second Chenggong ship in December last year, she said that in the face of foreign vessels crossing the border to extract sand in the outlying islands, the Coast Guard is to “continue to station large ships, and to outlaw them, never leniency”.
The Anping-class patrol ship is an advanced catamaran designed and built by Taiwan, which is dual-purpose; it serves as a fishery protection and human rights task during normal times, and can be equipped with missiles during wartime, and can carry up to 16 anti-ship missiles. A total of 12 Anping-class patrol ships have been ordered by the Coast Guard. The first ship was launched in December last year, and the successful ship is the second one. 10 more patrol ships of the same class will be built in the future. In the face of the growing military threat from the Chinese military, the successive construction and delivery of the Anping-class patrol ships is of great significance to Taiwan in strengthening its defense capabilities, especially in promoting the national shipbuilding industry and upgrading the development of Taiwan’s shipbuilding industry.
The Marine Patrol Agency pointed out on Friday that the Chenggong ship had completed ship handling education and training before the official delivery of the ship, and after the delivery of the ship, arrangements will be made to receive the ship’s personnel for warfare system equipment education and training. After completing the live firing of weapons systems at sea, the ship will join the ranks of the mobile sea patrol team in the east coast area to carry out the task of protecting fisheries and safeguarding rights in the eastern waters.
The Anping-class patrol ship can withstand force 9 winds and travel at speeds of up to 44 knots or more, and is equipped with a 120-meter high-pressure water cannon; the ship also has a rescue operation area on the side, carrying an independently operating police rescue boat, which can carry out tasks such as rescue and rescue at sea and repel cross-border vessels.
Many countries in Southeast Asia have been forced to build or purchase maritime patrol vessels as China is also building them and using them to interfere with the normal operations of other countries’ fishing vessels or other people in the South China Sea and East China Sea, where it claims sovereignty.
The Chinese Marine Police Law, which took effect on February 1 of this year, authorizes the Chinese Marine Police to use lethal force against foreign vessels in waters over which it claims sovereignty, causing concern and anxiety among many countries. For their part, the U.S. and Japanese governments have strongly criticized the provisions of China’s maritime police law.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi has repeatedly stated that China’s maritime police law must not be used to harm the legitimate interests of other countries involved.