Kaohsiung, Nov. 8 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) urged the armed forces Thursday to be ready to counter new forms of security threats from China, including misinformation, as she commissioned two Perry-class guided missile frigates purchased from the United States.
In the commissioning ceremony for the Ming Chuan (銘傳) and Feng Chia (逢甲) frigates at Kaohsiung's Zuoying Military Harbor, Tsai warned the military that the country is facing serious security threats, both traditional and non-traditional, from the People's Liberation Army.
"Via new technology, the Internet and new media, tens of thousands of pieces of misinformation originating from Beijing have been spreading in Taiwan society, attacking our government and industry," Tsai said.
Countering such misinformation poses a major challenge for national security and is a top task for government and the military, the president said.
Facing new threats, Tsai said the armed forces have been tasked with keeping the nation safe. Commissioning the two vessels is another important step in the beefing up of the country's combat preparedness, she added.
The two ships, built in the 1980s and originally named USS Taylor and USS Gary in the U.S. Navy, were delivered in May 2016. They are joining the Taiwan Navy's 146th fleet based in the outlying Penghu islands and will be deployed to patrol the Taiwan Strait.
The Perry-class frigates have high mobility and are equipped with the SQQ-89 undersea warfare combat system and the SQR-19 sonar system, both of which the Navy said will beef up its anti-submarine capabilities.
In December 2014, then-U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill into law authorizing the sale of four Perry-class frigates to Taiwan, which allocated about NT$5.5 billion (US$174.8 million) for the purchase of two of the ships.
According to the Navy, it sent personnel to the U.S. in May 2016 for training prior to taking delivery of the two vessels, which arrived in Taiwan in March 2017.