Taiwan’s Defence Minister Feng Shih-kuan submitted the 2017 Quadrennial Defence Review document on Tuesday with complaints of increased threats from China’s military aircraft and ships around the self-ruled island.
“The recent activity of Chinese jets and ships around Taiwan shows the continued rise in (China’s) military threat capabilities,” citing the importance of Taiwan’s need to defend itself, the review says. Further, it also has a negative impact on regional stability, it says.
The four-yearly review is the first since President Tsai Ing-wen took office last May and the first under her Democratic Progressive Party, which traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan.
Taiwan’s military development and its “freedom and prosperity are the same living body”, according to the draft.
The review comes as China – which claims Taiwan as its province to be taken back by force if necessary – has been stepping up air and sea military exercises in waters surrounding the island as part of a sweeping modernisation of its armed forces.
Meanwhile, the US remains Taiwan’s biggest ally and arms supplier and is bound by legislation to provide the means to help the island defend itself.