søndag 29. august 2021

Taiwan plans to spend $1.4 billion on new fighter jets amid rising China military activity

Taiwan announced a modest pace in defense spending for next year on Thursday, but will spend $1.4 billion on new fighter jets, as the island bolsters its forces in the face of increased pressure from Beijing. China has stepped up its military activity near Taiwan, including holding assault drills last week near the island, which it regards as Chinese territory to be brought under Beijing's control, by force if necessary.

President Tsai Ing-wen's Cabinet is proposing military spending of about $16.9 billion for the year starting in January, up from this year's budget of 16.2 billion, the government said in a statement. That number includes $1.4 billion for new fighter jets. The government did not give details but is likely referring to F-16s.

The United States in 2019 approved an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, a deal that would bring the island's total to more than 200, the largest F-16 fleet in Asia. The rate of increase would be smaller than the 10% rise budgeted for this year, according to Reuters calculations based on government data. China in March said its 2021 defense spending would rise 6.8% from 2020, as the world's second-largest economy emerges from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

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