up Week-long Sub Talks (30
The navy has just completed a talks with its US
counterpart on the purchase of eight diesel-powered submarines
from the US, defense sources said yesterday.
The two sides reached an agreement in the week of
talks on what type of submarine that the US will provide to Taiwan.
The US delegation initially tried to persuade the
Taiwan navy to accept Israeli-built submarines, but it insisted
on submarines designed and manufactured by Germany, which was
accepted by the US.
The US delegation, led by Navy International Programs
Department Deputy Director Captain Gibson LeBoeuf, was composed
of seven members from different branches of the navy. Some were
members of a submarine task force specially assembled by the US
navy to handle the submarine deal.
The delegation, though not high in rank, was received
by top leaders of the navy here, including Navy Commander-in-Chief
Admiral Miao Yun-ching
A naval official, who had access to information
about the talks, said that while the two sides have reached some
agreements, some differences remain.
For instance, the US navy has asked us to pay a
`pre-phase cost' of over US$10 million. We asked them to provide
details about what the `pre-phase cost' is to be used for.
The navy leaders are not happy about the US request
for the `pre-phase' cost. They are worried that the money could
be used inappropriately without their knowledge. If that is the
case, they might be involved in a scandal of some sort.
The navy had tried to ask Minister of National Defense
Tang Yao-ming to make the decision on their behalf. But Tang turned
down their request, saying the navy should have the authority
to make the decision for itself.
The navy leaders are in a dilemma: if they decide
to pay the `pre-phase' cost to the US, they have to take full
responsibility for the decision, but if not, they also have to
take responsibility for any possible twists in the submarine deal.