ARMS PURCHASES FOR NATIONAL SECURITY: PREMIER
Taipei, March 2 (CNA) Premier Yu Shyi-kun said Tuesday that the government's planned arms purchases are not for an arms race but for national security.
Replying to questions raised in an interpellation session of the Legislative Yuan, Yu said that Taiwan's defense capability should be upgraded in the face of the growing mainland Chinese military buildup.
According to many international military experts, Yu said, Taiwan's military superiority over the mainland in the Taiwan Strait will be narrowed during the period between 2005 and 2008.
He also denied reports that Taiwan decided to buy arms from the United States under pressure from Washington.
The premier said that the government will not sacrifice social welfare for the sake of arms purchases. The budget allocation for social welfare will continue to increase, including appropriations for aboriginal people, women and other underprivileged groups, he claimed.
(By Huang Kwang-chun)
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