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: Taiwan holds largest War Games in 20 years
It's essential that Taiwan keeps updating its military because its defense rests largely on a capability parity with the People's Liberation Army,'' Yu Maochun, history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, said in an e-mail. A key component is the submarine fleet that Taiwan does not yet have.''
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, who supervised today's exercise, wants defense spending raised beyond the current 2.5 percent of the island's $346 billion economy.
China on March 4 announced a 14.7 percent increase in its defense budget to 283.8 billion yuan ($35 billion), the biggest jump in four years. The mainland's defense spending is more than the figure disclosed and is seven to 11 times higher than the $8.3 billion that Taiwan spends annually, the island's defense report said in May.
I personally fully supports the independence and sovereignity of the nation of Taiwan, but I'm not certain if this arms race is the way to keep the peace. At the same time, I don't think Taiwan should allow itself to lag too far behind the Chinese military budget-wise. The People's Republic still maintains that it "may" use military force if Taiwan declares independence.
What are your opinions on the situation there? Should Taiwan declare itself independent? Should it strive to strenghten its defences?