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Taiwan military to build high-tech naval mine for shallow waters, says report

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's military is planning to build a high-tech naval mine that can be deployed in local shallow waters and river mouths in response to a possible Chinese invasion, local media reported Wednesday.

Such a self-contained explosive device could be placed in the water and triggered by remote control, serving as a countermeasure to an invasion force were one to attempt to dispatch its landing vessels and ships in Taiwan's rivers, a military source told the Chinese-language United Evening News yesterday.

The source said the West Coast of Taiwan proper is known for its thousands of rivers.

Enemy forces could easily send their boats and sail them into the capital city via main rivers such as the Tamsui River, making these waterways major loopholes defensively.

Taiwan's military has self-developed and manufactured three previous generations of naval mines since the 1980s but they were all designed as weapons in deep water instead of those that can be used in more shallow depths, the report said.

Naval mines designed for shallow water need more advanced technology than their deep-water counterparts, the source said.

To meet Taiwan's self-defense needs, the Ministry of National Defense has allocated funds to build newer, high-tech self-contained explosive devices that can be placed in shallow water to destroy ships or submarines, it said.

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