President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that the defense spending would reach a record NT$606.8 billion (US$19 billion) in 2024, a demonstration of the nation’s “determination to ensure national security”.
Tsai said in a statement that the defense spending was “expected to reach 2.5 percent of the GDP.”
The proposed spending would be a 3.5 percent increase from 2023’s NT$586.3 billion, according to official data.
Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office
“Taiwan must continue to bolster its capabilities to defend itself and demonstrate its self-defence determination to ensure national security and interests, while seeking more international support,” she said.
Tsai was briefed by Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) about the 2024 government budget.
More details on the proposed 2024 budget -- the last of Tsai’s tenure -- are expected to be released after it is presented at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Following approval by the Cabinet, the budget will also be debated and voted on by the Legislative Yuan.
Beijing has intensified its sabre-rattling and ramped up political and economic pressure on Taiwan since Tsai came to power in 2016.
China staged fresh drills around the island on Saturday, a day after Vice President William Lai (賴清德), also a frontrunner in next year’s presidential election, returned from a visit to Paraguay that included stopovers in the US.
Additional reporting by CNA
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