The Ministry of National Defense’s estimated budget for fiscal 2022 tops those of other government agencies and is expected to grow by at least NT$10 billion (US$357.1 million), or 2.7 percent, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) said yesterday.
The defense ministry is hoping to increase its budget for fiscal 2022 in light of increasing military harassment and threats from China, a source said on condition of anonymity.
Defense spending could surpass this year’s NT$361.7 billion, the source added.
The increase in defense spending for fiscal 2022 would not be lower than the average GDP growth over the past three years, Chu said.
The main cause for the increase would be rising personnel wages due to promotion of officers, he said.
The ministry’s fiscal 2022 budget would have been even higher if the already approved special budget allocated to it for the purchase of 66 F-16V jets were included, he added.
Chu declined to specify whether defense spending would grow by 2 percent or 3 percent next year.
Matters of national defense fall under the jurisdiction of the president, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will have the final say on the defense budget, he said.
Government spending for fiscal 2022, especially for social welfare — which stands at NT$558.8 billion this year — is expected to surpass that of fiscal 2021, he added.
The government is not planning to increase stock transaction taxes for fiscal 2022, as the TAIEX has continued to reach new heights this year, he said.
The DGBAS is expected to present separate reports to Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Tsai on the planned government budget.
Government agencies are to begin reviewing their budget plans this month and deliver them to the Executive Yuan by late next month for approval, the DGBAS said.
Once the government budget is approved by the Executive Yuan, it would be forwarded to the Legislative Yuan for approval, it said.
STRENGTHENING: The defense budget this year is to focus on replenishment of artillery and rocket stocks, and equipment for F-16 jets, the defense ministry said Defense spending this year is to focus on preparing weapons and equipment for a “total blockade” by China, including parts for F-16 jets and replenishing weapons, the military said in a report. China staged war games around the nation in August last year, firing missiles over Taipei and declaring no-fly and no-sail zones in a simulation of how it would seek to cut Taiwan off in a war. In a report seeking legislative budget approval, the Ministry of National Defense said it began reviewing its strategic fuel reserves and repair abilities last year, but did not give details. In “anticipation of a total
ANTI-SHIP CONFIGURATION: The Tuo Chiang-class vessels are to be built for NT$9.7 billion by Lung Teh, a shipyard that previously built four similar corvettes for the navy The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday awarded Lung Teh Shipbuilding (龍德造船) a NT$9.7 billion Co (US$317.57 million) contract to build five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes with anti-ship capabilities, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The corvettes would carry vertical launchers for four Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles, as well as eight Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, in contrast to ships configured for anti-air warfare, which carry eight HF-2 and four HF-3 missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The anti-ship corvettes would be armed for improved standoff range against surface combatants and carry the latest
NINE TYPES: One of the devices can be carried by a single soldier and can destroy high-value, high-risk vehicles as well as target personnel, an official said Taiwan’s top military research body yesterday unveiled nine domestically developed drones in Taichung, including a loitering munition, or “suicide drone,” similar to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300. The surveillance and attack drones shown to the media by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology included the Albatross medium-range uncrewed aerial vehicle Nos. 1 and 2, and the Teng Yun 2 and Cardinal 2 and 3 indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicles. The institute also unveiled a domestically made drone inspired by the AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which Ukrainian forces have employed in the country’s war with Russia. Aeronautical Systems Research Division head Chi Li-pin (齊立平)
PARTIAL SUPPORT: Morris Chang said he agrees with the US’ goal to slow advances of China’s chip sector, but US policies that might boost chip prices perplex him Washington’s efforts to on-shore semiconductor production might lead to surges in chip prices and supply bottlenecks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday. The 91-year-old industry veteran said he supports parts of Washington’s effort to slow China’s progress on advanced chip manufacturing. China is still six years behind Taiwan in making advanced chips, despite years-long efforts to catch up, Chang told a Commonwealth Magazine forum that he coheadlined with Tufts University assistant professor Chris Miller, an expert on the US-China rivalry’s effects on chip manufacturing. However, Chang said that other parts of the effort, particularly Washington’s on-shoring