Taiwan plans to increase defense budget by 12.9% by 2023
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan on Thursday unveiled a draft $13.72 billion defense budget for 2023, up 12.9 percent from a year earlier, amid tensions with China, which is restricting its operations as a Soldier near the Democratic Island, which Beijing considers a breakaway province.
China’s military held drills on an unprecedented scale in Taiwan this month after a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said she wanted to show US support for the island.
In addition to the draft budget, President Tsai Ing-wen’s government wants an additional amount of almost $3.6 billion for the purchase of fighter jets and other military equipment.
It is now up to Parliament to approve the proposed budget, which would mean a sixth consecutive annual increase in defense spending.
Tsai Ing-wen has made army modernization a priority, while China does not rule out using force to bring Taiwan back into its fold.
(Report Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; French version Jean Terzian)
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