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It's Time to Buy
TIM MCGIRK aboard the Hai-Pao Monday, Apr. 30, 2001
The Hai-Pao, one of Taiwan's top-of-the-line battle submarines, is cramped, underpowered and, by today's standards of warfare, about as lethal as a wind-up bathtub toy. When Taiwanese Captain Chi Ming-ling dares to take the World War II vintage sub down to its maximum depth—which is a piddling 180 m—the hull groans ominously and the antique brass valves sometimes burst, flooding the cabin with seawater. "We prefer not to dive so much," Chi says, a sorry admission for a sub captain. "Truthfully, this submarine belongs in a museum."
It is, in a way: Taiwan loves showing off the Hai-pao as Exhibit A in...