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.
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
CROSS-STRAIT CONCERNS: At the same US Congress hearing, Mira Resnick said a US government shutdown could affect weapons sales and licenses to allies such as Taiwan A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would be a “monster risk” for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told the US Congress on Tuesday. Growing worries of a conflict come as China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan, holding large-scale war games simulating a blockade on the nation, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner said a blockade would be “a monster risk for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].” “It would likely not succeed, and it
‘HARASSMENT’: A record 103 Chinese warplanes were detected in 24 hours, posing severe challenges to security in the Taiwan Strait and the region, the ministry said Taiwan yesterday told China to stop its “destructive unilateral actions” after more than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected in areas around the nation. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the number of warplanes detected in 24 hours as a “recent high,” while Beijing has so far refrained from issuing any official comment on the sorties. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defense had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,”
China would be making “a grave strategic mistake” if it tried to attack Taiwan, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said in an interview with CNN that aired on Sunday. Asked by host Fareed Zakaria whether the US could repel a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Milley said: “It is entirely possible.” Milley reiterated that the US still maintains the Taiwan Relations Act, and that it wants “a peaceful outcome between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China, and whatever that is between those two peoples.” “Militarily, I think China would make a grave strategic mistake if they attempted to