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Taiwan Calls on Asia-Pacific Cooperation to Counter China's might

Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of National Defence Michael Tsaihas called for an Asia-Pacific security cooperation mechanism to protect the region’s stability in view of what he called China’s growing military might. He stated that”It is not enough to leave Taiwan alone to face China’s growing military threat. We hope countries in the Asian-Pacific region, the US, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand and Taiwan to set up a cooperation system to protect regional stability. It is also to keep the balance of power with China’s People Liberation Army,” Mr Tsai said. His comments came as the Taiwanese government reiterated the need for a special defence budget of US$18 billion to buy arms from the United States. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Mark Chen Tan-sun said, “As President Chen said, we’re willing to sit down and talk with the other side without any set pre-conditions. But in any dialogue, you can never compromise your basic rights. You can’t compromise on national security. It’s as simple as that.” The Taiwan Defence Ministry says despite the hefty funds needed, the island must acquire weapon systems that fulfill its security needs. But critics, including opposition party members, say Taiwan just cannot afford such massive arms spending. Some are concerned the new arms won’t be delivered on time to help the island fend off any potential attack from China in the next few years. Yet others warn that any military purchase by Taiwan could fuel an arms race with Beijing, which regards the island as a renegade province and has vowed to retake it by force if Taipei declares formal independence.(Full Story)

OODA Analyst

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