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Taiwan to raise defense spending next year ‘to ensure national security & regional peace’

Taiwan to raise defense spending next year ‘to ensure national security & regional peace’

Taiwan unveiled a T$42.1 billion ($1.4 billion) increase in next year’s planned defense spending on Thursday. President Tsai Ing-wen’s cabinet is proposing T$453.4 billion in military spending for the year beginning January 2021, compared to the T$411.3 billion budgeted for 2020 – an increase of 10.2 percent, Reuters said, citing its calculations.

“The steady increase in the defense budget will facilitate the implementation of various military-building and war-preparation tasks … and ensure national security and regional peace and stability,” Taiwan’s Defense Ministry explained.

On Monday, Taiwan said Chinese fighters briefly crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the same day US health chief Alex Azar met Tsai in Taipei.

After the budget announcement, China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said its forces had carried out combat drills in the Taiwan Strait and to the north and south of the island during Azar’s trip.