The increase is due to threats from China, which does not rule out retaking the "rebel" island by force. China holds naval exercises in the Taiwan Strait. Taipei wants to buy cruise missiles and underwater sea mines from Washington. Taiwan is among the top 30 countries in the world in terms of military capabilities.
Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Taiwan today announced plans to boost its military spending by more than 10 per cent next year, up to NT$ 453.4 billion (US$ 15.4 billion).
For the Taiwanese government, the increase is justified by China’s growing aggressiveness. Beijing considers the island a "rebel" province, and has not ruled out the use of force to retake it.
Recently, China carried out military exercises near the Taiwan Strait and the waters north and south of the island at the same time as US Health Secretary Alex Azar was on a visit to Taipei.
Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s representative in Washington, said that her country is negotiating the purchase from the United States of cruise missiles for coastal defence as well as underwater sea mines to be employed in case of an amphibious attack against her country.
According to Global Firepower, which ranks the world’s Armed Forces, Taiwan is 26th out of 138 countries in terms of military capabilities. China is 3rd after the United States and Russia.