Taiwan unveils record defence budget amid tensions with China | Military News

The proposed budget would increase the self-governing island’s military spending by 13.9% annually.

Taiwan has unveiled plans for a record increase in defense spending, weeks after China held unprecedented military exercises around the democratic island.

A 13.9% increase in spending, including funding for new fighter jets and other equipment, will bring the total defense budget to a record new NT$586.3 billion ($19.41 billion). USD), or about 15% of total government spending.

The budget, announced Thursday by President Tsai Ing-wen’s government and being approved by parliament, marks a sharp increase in spending compared with an increase of around 4-5% in recent years.

Mr Tsai said his determination to defend the self-ruled island’s sovereignty would not change due to “pressure or threats”.

“At the same time, as a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan will not incite the incident nor escalate the conflict,” Tsai said.

Last year, Taiwan announced plans to spend an additional $8.69 billion by 2026 in its annual defense budget to strengthen the island’s naval capabilities.

Tsai, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, has pledged to modernize the island’s armed forces, which are constrained by China’s rapidly expanding military.

In March, Beijing announced plans to spend a record 1.45 trillion yuan ($211.62 billion) on defense, a figure that some analysts say underestimates the scale of spending. the country’s spending on the armed forces.

China held unprecedented live-fire drills near the island in August after a series of visits to Taiwan by US politicians including Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Beijing has accused the US of trying to overturn decades of foreign policy regarding the island, which the Chinese Communist Party sees as a province that must be “reunified” with the mainland by force if necessary.

The Biden administration has said it does not support Taiwan independence, but opposes any attempt to change the status quo by force.

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