Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) yesterday said that the ministry had sent a delegation of navy officers to the US to renegotiate terms for the nation's submarine purchase.
"Initially, we planned to spend NT$11.7 billion [US$355 million] for the submarines, but lawmakers complained that they were way too expensive. So we need to re-negotiate with the US representatives," Lee said.
Lee, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (
Both Lee and Huang said that even with the Democratic win, they believed that US policy would be consistent and that its stance on Taiwan's arms procurement would not change.
Lee said the delegation currently visiting the US will return shortly with more information on the US policy on selling arms to Taiwan.
Lee said that while the budget for P-3C maritime aircraft has been approved, the budget for one Patriot Advanced Capacity?3 missile system has been frozen and NT$4.1 billion have been removed from the budget for eight diesel submarines.
"It is still looking good. Everything is still under control. We still have a chance of having them approve [the budget] before the end of this legislative session," Lee said.
In addition to the long-pending arms procurement proposal, Lee said that the nation's plan to purchase F-16C/D jetfighters was almost a done deal.
US representatives have promised that the approval of the arms procurement proposal would facilitate the procurement of jet fighters, Lee said.
It was the first time that Lee confirmed procurement plans for the F-16C/Ds.
Lee said his ministry would continue its communication and cooperation with its counterparts in the US and Japan, and more retired military personnel from these two countries would be invited to visit Taiwan's annual Hankuang Military Exercise.
Additional reporting by CNA
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
‘DISCIPLINE’: The Taiwanese runner finished six days after the winner, but claimed the 25th-best time in the 25-year history of the race at a New York high school Taiwanese ultramarathon runner Lo Wei-ming (羅維銘) on Saturday finished second among seven runners in a 4,989km road race in New York City, becoming the first Asian to have completed the challenge. Holding the national flag and wearing sandals, Lo was cheered by the crowd as he passed the finish line of the 25th Annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, clocking 48 days, 11 hours, 52 minutes and 1 second. “Wei-ming has been a real ambassador for the sport of super-long distance running, as well as for his Taiwan heritage and community,” the organizers said in their 48th daily online update for