Taiwan Boosts Military Budget to $20 Billion, Showcasing Defense Readiness

Taiwan's commitment to fortifying its national defense has once again come to the forefront.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Taiwan Boosts Military Budget to $20 Billion, Showcasing Defense Readiness
© Getty Images News/Annabelle Chih

Taiwan's commitment to fortifying its national defense has once again come to the forefront. On Thursday, the government greenlit a proposal aiming to amplify its defense budget to an impressive NT$606.8 billion ($19.1 billion) for the upcoming year.

This allocation mirrors a notable increase of 7.7 percent from this year's budget. Highlighting the significance of this move, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) emphasized that this sum—equating to nearly KM 35 billion—is equivalent to approximately 2.5 percent of Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP).

Such an allocation, they argue, showcases the government's unwavering resolve to protect and uphold the nation's sovereignty.

A Trend Towards Increased Defense

This recent uptick in defense budgeting doesn't come as a stark outlier in Taiwan's fiscal trends.

Data procured from the Ministry of National Defense reveals a consistent upswing in the country’s defense expenditure since President Tsai Ing-wen assumed office in 2016. A retrospective glance at the figures indicates that defense spending soared from NT$355.7 billion, accounting for 2 percent of the GDP in 2017, to a robust NT$580.3 billion in 2023, marking a close to 2.5 percent GDP allocation.

Adding perspective to the rise, Deputy Defense Minister Alex Po divulged that the ministry has outstanding payments for armaments acquired from the United States. The arsenal includes top-tier weaponry like the HIMARS long-range precision weapon systems and the formidable M1A2T Abrams tanks.

In a bid to highlight the urgency and rationale behind the augmenting defense expenses, the defense ministry stated, “To react to the enemy’s threat and to ensure national security, the defense budget continues to grow stably”.

As Taiwan continues to reinforce its military prowess, it's slated to receive a shipment of 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and 29 HIMARS systems from its long-standing ally, the US, starting 2024. This move is yet another testament to the island nation's unwavering determination to fortify its defenses amidst growing geopolitical challenges.

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