Taiwan will continue to increase military spending as it works to strengthen its national defense capabilities, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday told a delegation from a Washington-based think tank, while the Ministry of National Defense said it was closely monitoring Chinese military planes and navy vessels during their exercises near Taiwan.
Meeting with Hudson Institute president Kenneth Weinstein and others with his group, Tsai said Taiwan maintains stable and close economic and regional security relations with the US.
As head of state, one of her priorities is to strengthen Taiwan’s defensive capabilities and promote the development of its defense industry, and the government plans to increase its defense budget to enhance military training and boost military morale, she said.
Taiwan has made many efforts in this area, Tsai said, adding that she looks forward to receiving suggestions from the institute, particularly in the fields of military reforms and cooperation to strengthen regional peace and stability.
She did not give any figures, but in March the government suggested it wanted to increase defense spending from 2 percent of GDP to about 3 percent of GDP, which would mean a 50 percent increase in defense spending.
However, the Ministry of National Defense’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018, which it submitted earlier this month, was for NT$327.8 billion (US$10.83 billion), an increase of 1.9 percent over its NT$321.7 billion budget for this year.
Meanwhile, ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said China’s far-sea training activities that bring its fighters and vessels near Taiwan are expected to become routine and the defense forces have a set of response options.
Chen made the remarks in response to reporters’ questions following a news conference in Beijing on Sunday on the sidelines of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress on the theme of “solid strides on the path of building a powerful military with Chinese characteristics.”
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force bomber pilot Liu Rui (劉銳) told the news conference that since the PLA expanded its far-sea training to the deep seas several years ago, it has made such deployments a routine part of its live-fire exercise cycles.
The Chinese military would continue to expand its far-sea training, increase the frequency of such training activities and increase the scale of its exercises, Liu said.
PLA aircraft and vessels have several times flown or sailed near southern Taiwan and into the Western Pacific via the Miyako Strait, which lies between the Japanese islands of Miyako and Okinawa, and is part of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, but includes a narrow band of international waters and airspace.
Chinese fighter jets and ships have also regularly crossed the “first island chain,” which refers to the first major archipelagos off the East Asian continental mainland, including the Japanese archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and the northern Philippines.
Chen said that the military is closely monitoring the air space and seas above and around Taiwan, and has a range of responses.
He also urged the public to support the government’s efforts to develop a more independent defense sector and asymmetric warfare capabilities.
NOVEMBER ELECTIONS: The KMT urged the CECC to exclude Taiwanese from the arrivals cap, as they would lose their right to vote if they could not return by July 26 The COVID-19-related border control measures and the cap on the number of international arrivals are not being eased, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported 112 imported cases of the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is CECC spokesperson, said a meeting was held yesterday morning in which the Cabinet decided that current border control measures would remain in place. He said the main considerations were global COVID-19 cases increasing 21 percent last week, imported cases of Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 continuing to be detected
Samsung Electronics Co yesterday commenced mass production of 3-nanometer chips that are more powerful and efficient than predecessors, beating rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to a key milestone in the race to build the most advanced chips in the world. South Korea’s largest company said in a statement that it was beginning with 3-nanometer semiconductors for high-performance and specialized low-power computing applications before expanding to mobile processors. By applying so-called Gate-All-Around transistor architecture, Samsung’s 3-nanometer products reduce power consumption by up to 45 percent and improve performance by 23 percent compared with 5-nanometer chips, it said. Samsung’s push to be first
Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung (張學友) has been criticized by the “Little Pink” — a term used to describe young, jingoistic Chinese nationalists on the Web — for saying “Hong Kong jia you [加油, an expression of encouragement].” To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule on Friday, China Central Television made a series of programs in which it interviewed Cheung and other celebrities. Cheung, speaking in Cantonese, said in the interview that “Hong Kong has been through a lot in the past 25 years, including ups and downs” and ended with the phrase “Hong
‘STRONG SUPPORT’: Liberal International expressed concern over Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, saying they could undermine regional peace Liberal International on Saturday passed a “World Today Resolution” recognizing the threat that China poses to Taiwan, while supporting Taipei’s inclusion in international organizations. Liberal International was established in 1947 as a federation of liberal political parties from around the world. Last week, it held its 63rd congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, which was attended by 221 representatives from 58 countries. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), in her capacity as chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), delivered a speech in a pre-recorded video at the congress’ opening on Thursday. DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) yesterday said the party, which has been a member of