Taiwan ups military spending

World | REUTERS 16 Aug 2019

Taiwan unveiled its largest defense spending increase in more than a decade yesterday amid rising military tensions with China.

President Tsai Ing-wen's cabinet signed off on an 8.3 percent increase in military spending for the year starting January to US$13.11 billion (HK$102 million), its largest yearly gain since 2008.

If approved, it will be the highest since records started in 2001.

China warned in July it was ready for war if there was any move toward Taiwan's independence and denounced arms sales from the United States to Taiwan, which is among a growing number of flash points in the US-China relationship.

"To react to the enemy's threat and to ensure national security, the defense budget continues to grow stably," Taiwan's defense ministry said.

The ministry said it will spend more to buy advanced weapons and to build a fully volunteer force after decades of conscription.

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