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Taiwan to promote local defense industry and procure U.S. weapons: MND

2018/01/11 23:43:38

Chen Chung-ji (陳中吉, CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) Taiwan is determined to promote the development of its indigenous defense industry while at the same time maintaining stable relations with and making major weapons acquisitions from the United States, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Thursday.

Last year, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) reiterated her pledge to boost Taiwan's defense budget by at least 2 percent per year in an effort to build a strong defense force, MND spokesman Chen Chung-ji (陳中吉) said during a press event.

Furthermore, the foreign ministry will also work to maintain positive and stable relations with the U.S. in order to acquire defense equipment and services, Chen said.

Earlier in the day, government officials were quoted as saying in a Reuters report that Taiwan's ruling party plans to use a long-term increase in defense spending to pursue advanced weapons systems, a move widely interpreted as reflecting the Democratic Progressive Party's determination to develop a stronger deterrent against China.

This equipment would include new missiles, drones and electronic warfare systems, fighter aircraft and ballistic missile defenses, according to the report.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Ko Lin)