There are 43 fighters and nine military vessels of the Armed Forces of the People’s Republic of China that today crossed the median line of the Strait of Taiwan, which by custom serves as an unofficial territorial boundary. This was announced by the Ministry of Defense of Taipei. The armed forces of Tawian, reads a message posted on the Ministry’s twitter profile, have monitored the situation and responded by sending aircraft, military ships and putting ground missile systems on alert. The sortie comes at the end of a three-day visit to Taiwan by a bipartisan delegation from the United States Congress, which landed in Taipei on 7 September. The mission, led by Deputy Speaker of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, Stephanie Murphy, held talks with the president yesterday. Tsai Ing-wen, which called for the signing of a free trade agreement with Washington. The Taiwanese leader thanked the eight members of Congress for the visit, which in her opinion confirms Washington’s support for Taiwan in particular “after China has carried out prolonged military exercises in the area”.
The reference is to live fire maneuvers carried out by the Beijing armed forces after the visit to Taipei of the president of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, at the beginning of August. “I want to take this opportunity to tell our friends that Taiwan will not give in to pressure. We will defend our democratic institutions and our way of life ”, added Tsai, specifying that Taiwan“ will actively deepen cooperation with democratic partners to safeguard the peace and stability of the region ”. On the economic front, the Taiwanese president has promised that she will continue to work with the United States to further intensify trade ties. “We have already announced that the negotiations for the Trade Initiative US-Taiwan in the 21st century they will start soon. We believe that through this initiative, we will be able to sign a trade agreement with high standards, advancing bilateral trade development, ”Tsai said. The Taiwanese president also expressed hope to sign a double taxation agreement to create a better investment environment. “I hope I can count on your support,” she added, addressing the members of the congressional delegation.
In response to heightened tensions with China in the Strait, Taiwan’s executive proposed in late August an increase in defense spending in the budget bill for fiscal year 2023. Government spokesman reported. Lo Ping-cheng, the armed forces know that 13.7 billion of the 90 billion dollars envisaged by the proposal are destined, with an increase in spending equal to 12.9 percent compared to 2022. The allocation for the operations of the Ministry of Defense will amount to 4.4 billion dollars, up 25.4 percent compared to 2022, while spending on military equipment and personnel will stand at 3.4 billion and 5.9 billion dollars, respectively. With the integration of extra budgets and military funds, defense financing reaches a record figure of 19.4 billion dollars, equal to about 2.4 percent of Taiwan’s gross domestic product (GDP).
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