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DEFENSE/Huang Shu-kuang to remain indigenous sub program convener under Lai

05/14/2024 08:45 PM
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Retired Navy Admiral Huang Shu-kuang. CNA file photo
Retired Navy Admiral Huang Shu-kuang. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Retired Navy Admiral Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) will retain his roles as a National Security Council (NSC) advisor and the convener of the Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) program after the new government is sworn in on May 20, the presidential handover committee announced Tuesday.

Huang, who tendered his resignation as NSC advisor and IDS program convener last month, decided to stay on after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) asked him to do so, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNA.

Tsai and Lai both have strong faith in Huang, and Lai asked him to continue overseeing the major project to bolster Taiwan's defense capabilities, the source said.

Huang said in a statement last month that he had resigned in hopes it would put an end to "politically charged, unfounded accusations and slander targeting the IDS program."

However, Tsai did not approve Huang's resignation, and he has since been supervising the testing of the prototype IDS, called the Narwhal, or Hai Kun, at a CSBC Corp., Taiwan facility, the source said.

Narwhal, prototype of Taiwan's locally developed and built submarine. CNA file photo
Narwhal, prototype of Taiwan's locally developed and built submarine. CNA file photo

The first military officer to be promoted by Tsai to the rank of admiral second class, Huang served as Navy chief from June 2016 to January 2020, when he was named chief of general staff.

His primary mission under the departing president has been to push the IDS program forward. In September 2021, he was appointed by Tsai as a National Security Council advisor and further designated as the program's convener.

In 2017, Huang became the first admiral of the Republic of China, Taiwan's formal name, to travel to the United States during the administration of then-U.S. President Donald Trump. During the visit, he oversaw the handover ceremony of two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates Taiwan had purchased from the U.S.

Huang's military career has been inextricably linked to submarines. As far back as 1979, he was in charge of taking delivery of two Chien Lung-class submarines ordered from the Netherlands, which were a modified version of the Dutch Navy's Zwaardvis subs.

Huang later captained the "ROCS Hai Shih" (Sea Lion) submarine, which was acquired from the U.S. in the 1970s and was formerly named the USS Cutlass. He was also the leader of the ROC Navy's 256th Submarine Squadron before he became chief of general staff in 2020.

(By Matt Yu, Lai Yu-chen and Sean Lin)

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