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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


ROC Central News Agency

2005-08-16 22:42:18

    Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan said Tuesday that the KMT will support an adequate arsenal for Taiwan as long as the government makes the arms procurement budget clearer.

    Lien made the remarks in an apparent attempt to counter President Chen Shui-bian, who told an Australian daily recently that Lien opposes everything Chen does due to his being defeated twice by Chen in presidential elections.

    The government plans to purchase eight diesel-electric submarines, six Patriot PAC III anti-missile batteries and a squadron of 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircraft from the U.S. with a special military budget of NT$480 billion.

    Lien, who has served as premier and vice president, claimed that he does not oppose the arms purchase, "evidenced" by his approval of several missile and submarine procurement plans during his tenure as premier.

    According to Lien, the "first thing" was when former U.S. President Bill Clinton was unwilling to agree to the arms sale to Taiwan during the KMT administration, followed by what he claimed was the "exaggerated rise" of the special military budget from NT$280 billion to NT$480, with the figure once surging to NT$610.8 billion.

    In addition, the outcome of a referendum on Taiwan's self defense held along with last year's presidential election vetoed the idea that Taiwan purchase anti-missile weaponry, Lien claimed.

    In the referendum, the voters were asked whether the government should acquire more advanced anti-missile weapons and whether the government should engage in negotiations with China on the establishment of a peace and stability framework for cross-strait interactions.

(By Elisa Kao)


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