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Chinese Taipei plans $9 billion boost in arms spending, amid rising tensions with China

Chinese Taipei proposed on Thursday extra defense spending of T$240 billion ($8.69 billion) over the next five years, including on new missiles, as it warned of an urgent need to upgrade weapons in the face of what it called a "severe threat" from neighbor China.

Deputy Defense Minister Wang Shin-lung told reporters the new arms would all be made domestically, as Chinese Taipei boosts its own production prowess, though the United States will probably remain an important parts and technology provider. The weapons Chinese Taipei aims to buy with the money include cruise missiles and warships, the ministry added.

The new money, which comes on top of planned military spending of T$471.7 billion for 2022, will need to be approved by parliament where President Tsai Ing-wen's ruling party has a large majority, meaning its passage should be smooth.

The announcement comes as Chinese Taipei is in the middle of its annual Han Kuang military drills. On Wednesday, its army simulated fending off an invasion, firing artillery out to sea from a beach on Penghu, one of its outlying island groups.

(Source: Reuters)

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