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MAJOR MILITARY PROCUREMENT AIMED AT SELF-DEFENSE: MND VICE MINISTER

2004-06-02 20:45:57

    Taipei, June 2 (CNA) Major military procurement plans designed by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) are aimed at bolstering Taiwan's deterrent and self-defense capabilities, and do not translate to an arm race with mainland China, Vice Defense Minister Hou Shou-yeh said Wednesday.

    Hou made the remarks to reporters after the Executive Yuan approved the ministry's special budget allocations for major military procurement programs worth a total of NT$610.8 billion (about US$18.23 billion).

    Military procurement has been a key segment of the government's long-term military build-up policy to step up Taiwan's self-defense clout, which should not be affected by other factors, he pointed out.

    According to the MND vice minister, the budget allocations put forward by the ministry include spending on weapons such as submarines, anti-missile systems and aircraft to hunt and destroy enemy submarines and to provide surveillance of surface shipping -- all prime items listed in the 2001 procurement program.

    He stressed that Taiwan needs submarines very much to beef up its defense capabilities and that the defense ministry will do its best to promote the goal of building Taiwan's own submarines.

(By Flor Wang)

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