President vows to increase Taiwan's military spending
Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) Amid tensions heightened by Chinese military drills near Taiwan and the situation on the Korean peninsula, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) vowed Friday to develop Taiwan's own indigenous defense systems and make a reasonable year-on-year increase in military spending.
Tsai made the remarks at a year-end press conference held by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), the primary research and development institution of the Ministry of National Defense.
"We decided to hold the press conference at NCSIST, the very heart of Taiwan's defense industry, to emphasize our determination to foster an indigenous defense industry and defend Taiwan's democracy," Tsai said.
In the face of the changing geopolitical environment marked by an increasingly assertive China, the tension on the Korean peninsula, and a mix of strategic cooperation and competition between the United States and China, Taiwan's security can only be guaranteed by enhancing its own defense ability, Tsai said.
On cross-Taiwan Strait relations, Tsai reaffirmed her commitment to maintaining a stable, predicable and consistent relationship, saying that her administration will not make reckless attempts and will not let the relationship come to a standstill.
Asked whether the government will take precautions against China's military activities and about the likelihood of China launching military action against Taiwan, Tsai said those activities concern not only Taiwan but also East Asia.
"Taiwan does not face the situation alone. It is also closely monitored by other countries. We will continue to observe China's motivation and attempts," she said.
Tsai said she believes that Chinese President Xi Jinping is a "rational decision maker" and will not consider using military force against Taiwan at the present time.
China's consistent stance is that it has never renounced the option of using force to take Taiwan.
"All the countries in the region share the common view that cross-strait issues definitely cannot be resolved through military force. China would have a hard time ruling out that view," Tsai said.
Tsai said that cross-strait issues must be resolved through talks between both sides in a peaceful manner.
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