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.