Taiwan currently has four submarines, two diesel-electric subs purchased from the Dutch, including the Sea Tiger shown here (foreground) and two ex-U.S. Navy GUPPY subs used for training only, including the Seal (background), whose keel was laid down in 1943. Kyodo/AP Images
The administration of President Donald Trump announced that it has approved a license that will allow U.S. companies to sell technology to Taiwan that the island nation needs to build diesel submarines domestically. Taiwan currently operates four elderly submarines—two ex-U.S. GUPPY boats used only for training and two Dutch-built units delivered in 1987 and 1988. The country has been trying to acquire additional subs with little success ever since, as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been acquiring ever-larger amphibious ships for a possible invasion of the island nation. Submarines are a natural deterrent and response.