ARMS PURCHASE TO BE STRATEGIC DETERRENT: VICE DEFENSE MINISTER
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) The proposed purchase of Patriot missiles, submarines and anti-submarine aircraft from the United States will serve as a deterrent against possible Chinese military adventurism against Taiwan, Vice Minister of National Defense Tsai Ming-hsien said Wednesday.
In an interview with the Tokyo-based newspaper Asahi Shimbun, Tsai said the proposed purchase of the Patriot missile batteries, at NT$140 billion (US$4.27 billion) , was given the go-ahead by the Cabinet Wednesday to be included in the ministry's regular budget.
The vice minister said that China, with obvious superiority over Taiwan in its numbers of missiles and submarines, is not amenable to peaceful settlement of its disputes with Taiwan unless Taiwan can strengthen its defense against these missiles and submarines.
With the acquisition of the Patriot system, submarines and anti-submarine aircraft, Taiwan will be able to foil China's attempts to cordon off Taiwan at sea or invade Taiwan, giving Taiwan valuable time to respond effectively.
Noting that the arms purchase proposal had been rejected by the opposition-controlled legislature many times when it was included in a special budget, the vice minister said he hopes the opposition will reverse its stance now that part of the purchase is included in the regular budget, warning that stability across the Taiwan Strait will be in danger if the military imbalance between Taiwan and China is not addressed by the arms purchase.
(By Maubo Chang)
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