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A New $8.6 Billion Defence Budget Is Passed by Taiwan as the Danger From China Rises.

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The Taiwanese government on Tuesday approved an additional $8.6 billion in defence spending in its latest effort to counter China’s increasingly bellicose behaviour. –

As Chinese jets entered Taiwan’s air defence zone at unprecedented levels last year, the government requested a five-year special defence budget of roughly TW$237.3 billion starting in 2022.

Authoritarian China claims the self-ruled island of Taiwan as part of its territory, which it intends to conquer by force if necessary, and the democratic Taiwanese are constantly threatened by this menace.

Tsai Ing-wen became Taiwan’s first female president in 2016, and Beijing’s sabre-rattling toward the island has risen significantly since her arrival.

According to a database created by AFP, nearly 970 Chinese warplane intrusions into Taiwan’s air defence zone were documented last year, more than double the around 380 that were carried out in 2020.

A New $8.6 Billion Defence Budget Is Passed by Taiwan as the Danger From China Rises.

Taiwanese lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve the special budget, but with a 310 million NT reduction. An annual defence budget of TW$471.7 billion has already been determined for 2022, and this new funding will be added on top of it.

The administration says it wants to increase the island’s sea and air capabilities “in the shortest amount of time” by purchasing numerous precision missiles and mass-producing high-efficiency naval ships.

Political and military expert J Michael Cole described the special budget as “encouraging and much-needed development” since Taiwan prioritises the development of asymmetrical capabilities, including unmanned vehicles and anti-ship missiles.

A senior scholar at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Canada, Cole explained that “several of weapons are ‘counterforce’ capabilities, with ranges that are long enough to reach targets along China’s coastline.”

While the U.S. often argues that Taiwan concentrates too much on huge conventional systems and neglects smaller, more dispersed, and less expensive ‘asymmetrical’ capabilities, this step will be welcomed by the United States.

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Despite moving diplomatic recognition from Washington to Beijing in 1979, Washington has remained a major ally and arms supplier to Taipei.

Additionally, a domestically designed Wan Chien (Ten Thousand Swords) cruise missile as well as an attack drone system and the installation of fighting equipment on coastguard ships are all included in the budget.

Cole also brings out the advantage of having many of the munitions manufactured in the United States.

For Taiwan, “the latter is a critical aspect, as it must ensure that it can dissuade and if necessary, counter, a Chinese invasion today, rather than five or 10 years from now.”

China has made a number of recent military drills simulating an invasion of the island publicised by the Chinese government.

Analysts have long agreed that China would be unable to invade Taiwan, but Beijing has made significant progress in recent years.

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