mandag 6. september 2021

Taiwan Is Getting Ready To Spend Big On New Fighter Jets

Can you put a price on autonomy, to essentially remain a de facto independent nation that is not beholden to a distant government? In the case of Taiwan, the number may be $1.4 billion. That is what the government of the Republic of China in Taipei said on Thursday it will spend on new fighter jets to help defend the island nation from Beijing, which has said it will reunify the island with the mainland by force if necessary.

When such force might be applied isn’t clear – and while it likely won’t be anytime soon as any military invasion would be costly – the Chinese Communist Party’s vows are being taken seriously. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has stepped up military activity near the island, which has included drills, while the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has continued to conduct sorties near Taiwanese airspace.

Taipei had announced only a modest increase in its defense spending, which still remains less than two percent of its GDP and is less than 20 times smaller than that of the People’s Republic of China. President Tsai Ing-wen’s Cabinet has proposed military spending of about $16.9 billion for next year – up from a current budget of $16.2 billion.