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.
BREAKING RECORDS: Kuo Hsing-chun’s snatch, clean and jerk, and combined lifts were all Olympic records, although well off her combined world record Taiwanese weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) yesterday completed her elusive quest for Olympic gold, clinching Taiwan’s first win at the Tokyo Games as she set Olympic records in the women’s under-59kg weight class. Kuo, who has not lost a major competition in her weight class since the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she was hampered by injury and finished third, finally chased down the gold medal that had long remained just out of her grasp. The 27-year-old finished with a combined lift of 236kg — 103kg in the snatch and 133kg in the clean and jerk — 21kg more
NEXT ROUND: About 1.44 million people who have registered online to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine are to get text messages today to book a vaccine appointment Strict border control measures, including a ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting through Taiwan, are to continue, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 10 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and no deaths. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said five of the cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it. The sources of infection of eight cases have been identified, one remains unclear and one is under investigation, he said, adding that 87.8 percent of the people infected with COVID-19 since May 11 have been released from isolation. Chen said an
NO ‘ONE CHINA’ LIE: The appropriations act passed the US House of Representatives with a vote of 217-212, but still needs Senate approval and the president’s signature The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a foreign assistance spending bill with an amendment forbidding that funds be used to create, procure or display maps depicting Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. The amendment was introduced by five Republican representatives — Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack and Mike Gallagher — and passed unanimously in a bundle with a dozen other amendments. “This is a common sense measure,” Tiffany said, speaking on the House floor on Wednesday. “As we all know, Taiwan has never been part of communist China. The Taiwanese people elect their
THE HOME TEAM: DPP Legislator Kao Chia-yu said she canceled her booking for an AstraZeneca shot as soon as she heard that the Medigen vaccine was an option President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she would get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗). Tsai wrote on Facebook that she had registered for her first vaccine dose using the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system, which allows people to indicate their preferred vaccine brand and to make an appointment when the shot becomes available. Tsai said that she opted for the Medigen vaccine — one of three now available on the system, along with the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines — even though Medigen has yet to deliver any doses or provide a