Soldiers take part in the annual Han Guang exercise in Tainan city, Taiwan on September 14 – Photo: REUTERS
On September 16, Taiwan proposed to spend an additional NT$240 billion ($8.69 billion) over the next five years, including spending on new missiles, as the island warned it needed to upgrade its weapons. emergency response to the “serious threat” from Beijing.
This is the proposed additional military spending after Taiwan has just announced a plan to spend a record military budget of NT$471.7 billion (about US$16.8 billion) for 2022.
Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, makes modernizing the military and increasing military spending a priority, as the island faces growing military and diplomatic pressure from Beijing.
The military spending will need to be approved by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan. However, the ruling party of Mrs. Tsai Ing-wen has a majority in this body, which means that the approval of this spending will go smoothly.
According to the Taiwan Defense Agency, among the weapons that Taiwan is aiming to buy with the money are cruise missiles and warships. The proposal was announced in the context of Taiwan holding the annual Han Guang exercise.
“China continues to invest heavily in its defense budget. China’s military has grown rapidly and it regularly sends ships and planes to harass our waters and airspace. “, Taiwan’s Defense Agency said in a statement.
The agency pointed out, “Faced with a serious threat from the enemy, the Taiwanese military is actively engaged in military preparation and construction work. It is urgent to obtain weapons and equipment. mass production in a short time”.
The deputy head of Taiwan’s National Defense Agency, Wang Shin-lung, said that the new weapons will all be domestically produced as Taiwan strengthens its self-manufacturing capacity. However, the US is likely to remain an important supplier of components and technology to Taiwan.
Taiwan has recently tested new long-range missiles off the southern and eastern coasts of the island. Taiwan has not released details, but experts and diplomats say the missiles have a range that could hit targets in China.