Taiwan 2007 military budget to increase sharply


FuManChu

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TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan's cabinet decided to increase military spending by nearly 30 percent next year as President Chen Shui-bian warned of rival China's continuing hostility towards the island. The cabinet approved a draft bill proposed by the defense ministry calling for 323.5 billion Taiwan dollars (9.86 billion US) in spending next year, a rise of 71 billion dollars, or 28.1 percent, from the current year.

The planned military spending, pending the legislature's final approval, would account for 18.7 percent of the government budget for 2007, up from 15.3 percent the preceding year. Much of the extra spending would be used to buy advanced US-made weaponry as part of the island's efforts to boost its defense capability against China, the defense ministry said.

Chen, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, defended the planned increase during a visit to Kinmen, a fortified island group off China's southeastern city of Xiamen. "Peace should not be founded on the enemy's goodwill...only by building a strong defense force could any invasion attempt be deterred," Chen said as Taiwan marked the anniversary of a Chinese communist bombardment of Kinmen in 1958.

"Over the past nearly 50 years, although no large-scale military conflicts broke out in the Taiwan Strait, it by no means an easing of the military threat from China," Chen said. "So far, the People's Liberation Army have deployed more than 800 ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan, four times more than when Ah-Bian (Chen's nickname) was elected president in 2000," he said, adding that the number of missiles is rising at the rate of 120 per year.

China announced in March its military budget for this year would rise 14.7 percent to 35 billion dollars, the latest in a series of double-digit annual increases dating back to the early 1990s.
I'm not sure what that is in terms of percentage of GDP - somewhere between 2.6% and 2.8%. I think the government plans to stabilise it at around 3% in the future.
 

Roger604

Senior Member
Fat chance the Legislative Yuan will accept this. Did you even read the article? What do the words "draft bill" mean to you.

Quit trying to beat a dead horse, Fu Manchu. Your title is totally misleading. Chen would be lucky if he doesn't get dumped by his party before his term is up.
 

FuManChu

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Roger604 said:
Fat chance the Legislative Yuan will accept this.
Lol, roger, do you know anything about what is going on in Taiwan? The KMT challenged the DPP for years to increase the defence budget while they were vetoing the special arms bill. If they now veto the defence budget, they'll be exposed as hypocrites.

So you're saying 100% the budget will rejected? Ok, we'll see. Maybe the DPP would like the Pan-Blues to do that - it would give them a stick to beat them with.

Did you even read the article? What do the words "draft bill" mean to you.
Oh, I must apologise. Hanging around these boards has made me used to seeing defence budgets increase when the government says so. I forget Taiwan is a democracy where leaders can be challenged over their policies. My bad. :D
 
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DennisDaMenace

New Member
I think we are seeing an arms race in the east. USA is afraid of China and N. Korea. China is afraid of USA, Japan and S. Korea. S. Korea is afraid of China, N. Korea and Japan. N. Korea is afraid of everyone, even China- closed border. Most people dont know there is a closed border between China and N. Korea even though they are allies.
That is because of the big wealth in China compared to N. Korea.
I think I could manage the affairs of N. Korea better then the goverment now there. In fact anyone who reads this could. Look at a satalitte image of S. Korea at night and the whole place is light up. N. Korea is almost all dark.
There are bad people in Korea, USA, China, Russia, Japan and EU. They are makeing bad judgments for us all.
 

Gollevainen

Colonel
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Ok FuManChu and Roger, keep your squables to yourself and don't drift this topic to wrong tracks...

Thank you
Golly
 

FuManChu

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DennisDaMenace said:
There are bad people in Korea, USA, China, Russia, Japan and EU. They are makeing bad judgments for us all.
I would have to agree with that in part. We haven't seen a fully-blown arms race yet, but there is a lot of unhealthy military fear/competition going on. Really there's no reason anyone has to go to war, but politicians always seem to want to be able to improve the odds. I would get worried, in terms of the Far East, when someone starts to have proper aircraft carriers rolling off the "production lines" - because I can guarantee the other big powers will follow suit.

Though I think the EU isn't relevant to this discussion, because it's geographically removed and although in total spends a fair bit of money, its spread around and not co-ordinated.

Getting back to the original point, who thinks they know what the increased budget (assuming it passes) will be used for? I think there's something for the F-16s in there. PAC-3 as well? Or would it be used for other spending priorities?

I'm not sure, because of the conflict over the special arms bill. Last time I checked they didn't drop it, but downgraded it to include designs for the new subs, upgrading the PAC-2s and buying the Orions.
 
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oringo

Junior Member
FuManChu said:
Getting back to the original point, who thinks they know what the increased budget (assuming it passes) will be used for? I think there's something for the F-16s in there. PAC-3 as well? Or would it be used for other spending priorities?

I'm not sure, because of the conflict over the special arms bill. Last time I checked they didn't drop it, but downgraded it to include designs for the new subs, upgrading the PAC-2s and buying the Orions.
From Phoenix TV news:
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Summary: the new budget will include 66 F-16C/D (with ~100 AIM-120). There's no PAC-3 in this budget. This proposal is suggested to be replacing the original special spending bill to acquire the subs and PAC-3, since it had no chance of passing in the legislative body.

In my opinion, Taiwan needs to rethink its policy towards mainland China before acquiring more arms. China has clearly stated under what circumstances she would attack Taiwan. Regardless of how much advanced weapons Taiwan acquires from the US, davastation of Taiwanese people is emminent if a war breaks out between China and Taiwan, because Taiwan is too small and too close a battle field to China.

Now onto the real beneficiaries of the new budget: the American defence contractors will get a big scoop of the profit, and they will in turn lobby the congress for more support of Chen Shuibian. Chen will continue to have American support, regardless of how many people are protesting in Taipei. That's what the arms purchase is really about, not a single bit about "defending" Taiwan.
 
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FuManChu

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oringo said:
FIn my opinion, Taiwan needs to rethink its policy towards mainland China before acquiring more arms. China has clearly stated under what circumstances she would attack Taiwan.
That isn't quite true. It has left some factors wonderfully vague, so it can decide whether or not those circumstances had been met. Look at the clauses of the ASA - they could mean anything. Thus it would be quite possible for China to create an excuse to go to war if it wanted, such as to whip up nationalistic support if things go wrong at home.

That's what the arms purchase is really about, not a single bit about "defending" Taiwan.
I would have to disagree in part for the reason I stated above. Taiwan needs to retain some form of a defensive capability, lest China take advantage of the situation and decide to go for it anyway. Otherwise you might as well argue that Taiwan doesn't need anything other than a lot of armed Police and a glorified coastguard.
 

oringo

Junior Member
FuManChu said:
That isn't quite true. It has left some factors wonderfully vague, so it can decide whether or not those circumstances had been met. Look at the clauses of the ASA - they could mean anything. Thus it would be quite possible for China to create an excuse to go to war if it wanted, such as to whip up nationalistic support if things go wrong at home.
You are talking about China as if it were Nazi Germany. Why would China risk confronting America to start a war with Taiwan? What are the exit strategies? How would Japan react? How to set up a new governmetn in Taiwan? Taiwan already claims that they have plans to launch precision strikes on strategic targets such as the three-gorgeous dam, how does China defend these targets or mitigate the effects of these sort of attacks?
These are all the questions that China would have to consider before attacking. It does not make any sense for China to go to war with Taiwan simply to "whip out nationalistic support." The only motivation critical enough to cause China to start a war is that there is a real threat that Taiwan is going independent, and all political/diplomatic solutions have failed.
Fumanchu, the Chinese leaders are not lunatics like Kim Junyi. There are 1 billion people that depend on them making the right decisions. And believe me, "nationalistic support" is not something they would start a war for. If you look at the past border skirmishes that China had with India, Russia, and Vietnam, none of them started because China wanted to rally their people.
Back to Taiwan, I still stand by my opinion that Taiwan is painting a China threat picture in order to buy support from US. There's a real selfish political agenda there.
 

FuManChu

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oringo said:
These are all the questions that China would have to consider before attacking. It does not make any sense for China to go to war with Taiwan simply to "whip out nationalistic support."
Well I wouldn't consider that it would make sense, but I'm sure if the CCP felt that doing nothing was to invite its own demise I think it would try anything.

There are 1 billion people that depend on them making the right decisions.
That doesn't mean the CCP would not try to act in its own interests if it felt threatened.

Back to Taiwan, I still stand by my opinion that Taiwan is painting a China threat picture in order to buy support from US.
How does "buying" support from the US help Taiwan? The US isn't going to change its diplomatic recognition or anything. It might make it a bit more likely to help Taiwan out in case of war, but if China is not a threat why would it do that?

Your argument makes no sense.

Anyway, let's try and limit the political discussion - I know the mods would want us to focus on the military side of this.
 

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