Taipei [Taiwan] September 16 (ANI): Taiwan on Thursday announced to spend an additional USD 8.69 billion in the defence sector in the next five years amid growing threats from China.
The new money, which comes on top of the planned 2022 military budget of NWT 471.7 billion, still needs to be passed by Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, Taiwan News reported citing media reports.
"The Chinese communists have continued to invest heavily in national defense budgets, its military strength has grown rapidly, and it has frequently dispatched aircraft and ships to invade and harass our seas and airspace," Taiwan's Defence Ministry said in a statement.
"In the face of severe threats from the enemy, the nation's military is actively engaged in military building and preparation work, and it is urgent to obtain mature and rapid mass production weapons and equipment in a short period of time," the statement added.
Taiwan has also planned to purchase cruise missiles and warships, along with other military equipment, Taiwan News reported citing the ministry.
This comes as China has ramped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan.
Taiwan has reported almost daily incursions by Chinese military aircraft in its air defence identification zone.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war.
On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island. (ANI)