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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Cabinet approves special bill for domestic arms procurement

ROC Central News Agency

09/16/2021 04:45 PM

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) Taiwan's Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft defense bill that would authorize a special allocation of up to NT$240 billion (US$8.66 billion) for the purchase of indigenous weapons over a five-year period.

The draft bill, proposed by the Ministry of National Defense (MND), aims to acquire an array of domestically made defense arms to enhance Taiwan's anti-air and anti-surface capabilities, the ministry said.

According to the draft bill, the acquisitions will include shore-based anti-ship missiles, field and ground-based air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, air-to-ground and surface-to-surface cruise missiles systems, high-performance submarines, and weapon systems for the country's Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, part of the budget will be used to expedite domestic production of the Tien Kung (Sky Bow), Tien Chien (Sky Sword), and Hsiung Feng (Brave Wind) series of missiles, according to the MND.

The ministry said the budget for the procurement of indigenous weapons systems will be capped at NT$240 billion but the allocation will be listed as a special budget, which means it will not be subject to the limitations of the Budget Act.

The draft bill will now be submitted to the Legislature for review, and if it is passed, the related budget will be allocated annually from 2022 to 2026.

The bill was introduced as part of Taiwan's efforts to safeguard its national sovereignty and security, and the safety of its people, as China continues to ramp up its military activity near Taiwan, sending fighter jets and warships on exercises close to the country, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said at a Cabinet meeting.

The government also hopes to encourage more Taiwan manufacturing companies to invest in the supply chain of the country's defense industry, which in turn will benefit the domestic economy, Su said.

(By Lai Yu-chen and Evelyn Kao)


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