Taiwanese President Announces Military Spending Boost to Check China
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced that her country would be drastically increasing military spending during a visit to Hawaii, so her island nation can better check their eternal rival China in the Taiwan Straits.
Amid outcry from the mainland, which considers Taiwan to be a wayward province rather than a sovereign state, Tsai made an official state visit to the US state of Hawaii as part of a tour of four of Taiwan's Pacific allies. During that visit, Tsai announced that the country would increase military spending by 2 percent per year.
According to National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen, President Tsai's comments came after a conversation with de facto US Ambassador to Taiwan James Moriarty — due to pressure from the mainland, the US does not formally recognize Taiwan's statehood and thus cannot send an "ambassador."
Moriarty allegedly told Tsai that he was concerned about drastically increased Chinese military spending: Beijing boosted military spending from about $60 billion in 2005 to over $200 billion in 2015. This funding influx could lead to a more dramatic military imbalance between the two Chinas.
Tsai Ming-yen also hinted that his country could ink more arms deals with the United States if "significant purchase cases" are presented that could increase defense spending by as much as 3 percent a year. Taiwan is a top buyer of US weapons, having purchased more than $60 billion worth in the last 25 years.