Taiwan planning for record security budget amid China tensions
Taiwan is preparing for upping its military spending in light of rising tensions with Beijing due to constant violations of China's sovereignty by Washington.
Taiwan announced on Thursday that it was planning on increasing its security budget in light of rising tensions with Beijing, especially due to the latest developments that drove a wider wedge between China and Taipei.
Tensions soared between China and Taiwan earlier this month, reaching their highest in decades, due to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island after Beijing warned both Washington and Taipei against such trip.
Taipei proposed a security budget of $13.7 billion for 2023, marking a 13% year-on-year increase. The proposal is currently pending parliamentary approval.
The island will also create a special budget allocated specifically for the acquisition of fighter jets and other aircraft and naval vessels to boost its capabilities in the maritime and aerial arenas.
"To protect national security, the overall defense budget for next year will reach Tw$586.3 billion to a record high," a cabinet spokesperson quoted Premier Su Tseng-chang as saying.
The bolstered military budget was unveiled after Beijing staged unprecedented exercises around Taiwan in retaliation for the provocative trip carried out by Pelosi.
The bipartisan trip sparked a caustic response from Beijing, which said it had carried out "combat readiness patrol and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island."
In response to the delegation's visit, Beijing called on Washington to "stop going further down the wrong path of hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle, so as not to cause further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."
"There have been significant increases in operation maintenance in response to the cross-strait situation, as our aircraft and naval ships have been (increasingly) deployed," budgeting chief Chu Tzer-ming told reporters.
Since early August, China has carried out several large-scale military exercises near Taiwan in response to the visits of high-ranking US officials to the island.
Pelosi's visit also led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry had announced that Beijing will impose sanctions on Pelosi and her close relatives in response to her provocative visit to Taiwan. China also imposed restrictions on the purchase of fruit and seafood from Taiwan, as well as stopping sand supplies to the island.
It is noteworthy that more than 170 countries have reaffirmed their commitment to the One China principle since Pelosi made her visit to Taiwan, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin.