Taiwan will increase its military spending due to a possible “total blockade” of China

F-16 fighter jets fly in formation during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File) (Chiang Ying-ying/)

defense spending taiwan this year will focus on prepare weapons and equipment for a possible “total blockade” by Chinaincluding parts for F-16 fighters and weapons replacement, according to the Taiwanese army.

China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory, staged military exercises around the island in August, firing missiles over Taipei and declaring no-fly and no-sea zones in a mock attempt to isolate Taiwan in a war.

In a document to request the approval of the parliamentary budget, a copy of which he had access to Reuters On Monday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said it began reviewing its strategic fuel reserves and repair capabilities last year, but gave no details.

In “anticipation of a total blockade of the Taiwan Strait,” this year’s spending would include the replenishment of artillery and rocket stocks, as well as parts for F-16 fighters “to bolster the continuity of combat.”the ministry said.

In an update to its China threat assessment, the Taiwanese ministry said the Chinese military has been carrying out joint force operations with a view to controlling strategic choke points and denying access to foreign forces.

“Recently, the exercise and training model of the communist army has been adjusted from a single military type to joint operations of land, sea, air and rocket forces,” said the document, released before Defense Minister Chiu Kuo. -cheng, will take questions from Taiwanese parliamentarians on Wednesday.

It is taking a real warfare approach and moving from training to combat readiness.”

Soldiers lower Taiwan's national flag during a daily ceremony at Freedom Square in Taipei, Taiwan (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)
Soldiers lower Taiwan’s national flag during a daily ceremony at Freedom Square in Taipei, Taiwan (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, file) (Chiang Ying-ying/)

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China must modernize its military into a “Great Wall of Steel.”

Xi also said that as regards Taiwan, China should oppose separatist and secessionist activities and interference by outside forces.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense stated that China has systematically increased the strength of its “joint combat readiness” actions around Taiwan.

Last year, the Chinese army’s Eastern Theater Command sent more than 1,700 aircraft to Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. This figure is more than double that of the previous year and poses a “substantial threat” to Taiwan’s defense, according to the ministry.

A Chinese army pilot during military exercises in the airspace surrounding Taiwan (via Reuters)
A Chinese army pilot during military exercises in the airspace surrounding Taiwan (via Reuters) (EASTERN THEATER COMMAND /)

China has been “normalizing” the no-navigation zones around the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea and the Taiwan Strait, the ministry added.

China hopes to hone its capabilities to fight on the “second island chain”which includes an area from Japan to the Pacific islands, to “stifle and control” the Bashi Channel, Miyako Strait and Tsushima Strait, he said, three crucial waterways for accessing the Pacific and Western seas. East Chinese.

The Taiwanese ministry said China has also continued to use “grey area” tactics to test Taiwan’s response, including sending drones, balloons and fishing boats to areas near Taiwan.

The ministry also said it will include priority funding for US-made weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) mobile rocket launchers, in this year’s budget.

(With information from Reuters/Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard)

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