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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


ROC Central News Agency

2005-03-02 20:21:41

    Taipei, March 2 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) started a new campaign Wednesday to drum up support for its proposed purchase of arms from the United States.

    The campaign features eight different posters appealing to the public's desire for peace and security, said Gen. Hu Cheng-pu, the chief of the Political Warfare Bureau, at a news conference to unveil the posters.

    Hu said the posters were designed to bring home to the general public the importance of pursuing peace through strength and to steer clear of the political disputes between the ruling and opposition parties.

    With each of the eight posters targeting a different group of people, Hu said the whole campaign will cover most demographics in Taiwan. The purchase, carrying a price tag of NT$610.8 billion (about US$ 18.23 billion) , has caused alarm in the opposition-controlled Legislative Yuan because of its huge amount and because the government put it in a special budget that is exempt from the legal cap that exists on the government's ordinary budget.

    The ministry's campaign last year focused on downplaying the cost of the package, claiming that the price would only be the cost of a cup of "pearl milk tea" per person per day, which only angered the opposition, who dismissed it as misleading.

    The ministry is eager to have the budget approved as soon as possible, and Defense Minister Lee Jye has put his career at stake by threatening to step down if the arms purchase is killed by the Legislative Yuan.

(By Maubo Chang)


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