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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


2004-06-03 22:02:14

    Taipei, June 3 (CNA) Executive Yuan spokesman Chen Chi-mai said Thursday that Taiwan should raise its military expenditures amid mainland China's increasing military buildup, in terms of both quality and quantity.

    Chen made the remarks the day after the Cabinet passed a special budget plan for arms procurement from the United States. The budget plan, worth NT$610.8 billion (US$18.23 billion), will be sent to the Legislative Yuan for approval.

    Chen revealed that this year's U.S. report on the mainland's military power contains much criticism of Taiwan's defense budget and that the U.S. government is also worried that Beijing's arms purchases have seen double-digit growth in recent years, with its annual military expenditure oscillating between US$50 billion and US$70 billion.

    Amid the increasing military imbalance between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan needs to raise its military expenditure to ensure its anti-missile capability, Chen added.

    He added that the mainland has strengthened the combat capability of its joint forces and the accuracy of its long-range missiles since the U.S.-led war in Iraq, so it is of tremendous importance that Taiwan purchase anti-missile Patriot defense systems, among others.

(By Elisa Kao)


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