Taiwan to boost military spending as U.S. worries about ‘imbalances’ with China

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The Taiwanese military is set to bolster its defense spending in an effort to close yawning capability gaps with the Chinese.

President Tsai Ing-wen said during a visit to Hawaii that the country would boost spending by 2 percent each year as U.S. officials expressed concerns that a military imbalance in the Taiwan Straits was widening.

If Taiwan begins buying weapons and systems abroad, spending could increase 3 percent per year. Also, spending could possibly increase further using a special budget if “significant purchase cases” are made, said Tsai.

China has been increasing pressure on Taiwan since Tsai’s election last year, as Beijing senses she may push the island nation towards independence; Beijing considers Taiwan just a renegade Chinese province.

Analyst comment: As noted in last week’s Strategic Intelligence Summary, Taiwanese reunification is high on China’s ‘to-do’ list, which is one reason why Beijing is making substantial investments in its military.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-China conflict?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

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