The Ministry of National Defense yesterday reiterated President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) pledge to increase the nation’s defense spending every year after this fiscal year.
The statement came after China announced it would raise its military spending this year.
China’s official military budget is to be 1.11 trillion yuan (US$175.1 billion), a 8.1 percent increase from last year, when China raised the budget 7 percent, Xinhua news agency reported.
Tsai has pledged to raise to the defense budget every year and earmark expenditures for planned procurements, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said.
The government is also to make special budget proposals to cover the costs of major unplanned arms deals, instead of deducting such expenses from the defense budget, Chen said.
“This ministry is committed to promoting national defense autonomy and the security of our nation,” he said.
Meanwhile, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) blamed Taiwan for “increasingly severe and complicated” cross-strait relations at a news event yesterday marking the opening of China’s 13th National People’s Congress.
“We have resolute will, full confidence and even fuller ability to prevent any sort or form of Taiwan independence separatist acts,” Zhang said.
China has “encountered more risks and challenges” in cross-strait relations due to Taiwan’s refusal to acknowledge the so-called “1992 consensus” and “more forceful interventions by outside forces,” Zhang added.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted to making up in 2000, refers to a supposed tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Taiwan is not the side that has been acting in ways that are detrimental to the relationship, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.
The government’s commitment to peace and goodwill has been clear and consistent, a fact that is not missed by the international community, he said.
“The goodwill and promises of this government are unchanged. We have no intention of returning the nation to a confrontational course of action or bowing to pressure,” he said.
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
As China waged extensive military exercises off Taiwan, a group of US defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the nation. The unofficial what-if game is being conducted on the fifth floor of an office building not far from the White House, and it posits a US military response to a Chinese invasion in 2026. Even though the participants bring a US perspective, they are finding that a US-Taiwan victory, if there is one, could come at a huge cost. “The results are showing that under
DRILLS CONTINUE: China’s creation of a restricted zone across the median line of the Taiwan Strait challenges a 70-year-old fact, a ministry of defense official said The nation’s military fully complies with international rules and guidelines when responding to Chinese military drills, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday, vowing to continue defending Taiwan in accordance with international law. China on Thursday launched four days of military drills around Taiwan proper in response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. The drills were expected to end on Sunday, but neither Beijing nor Taipei confirmed their conclusion, although the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it had seen some evidence suggesting at least a partial drawdown. However, China yesterday said the drills would continue, saying “the
A senior Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman has prompted a storm of ridicule online, after a late-night post in which she used restaurant listings to assert Beijing’s claim over Taiwan. “Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) posted on Twitter late on Sunday. “Palates don’t cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home,” she added. Hua’s post came at the end of a week of tensions around the Taiwan Strait, during which Beijing raged at a