Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Taiwan to spend $1.6 billion on drones amid China threats 

China opposes any official contact of foreign states with Taiwan and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island nation indisputable.

• November 9, 2022

Taiwan has allocated $1.6 billion from public funds to build a domestic supply chain of drones within a year.

This is in the event of a confrontation with Beijing, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing senior Taiwanese officials.

According to the newspaper, the initiative is a part of the efforts of Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, to make armed forces focus on an “increasingly pressing threat from Beijing,” which has stepped up its military manoeuvres near the island since August.

Taiwan’s administration aims to organise Taiwanese private drone makers into a “national team” to develop the production of unmanned aerial vehicle systems for specific purposes in the event of tensions escalation in the Taiwan Strait, the report said.

The report added that the authorities expect the first orders by July next year.

“Our military has so far failed to present a clear concept for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in war-fighting and to capitalise on our private sector’s significant capabilities in that field,” one senior official in Ms Tsai’s administration told Financial Times.

The situation around Taiwan escalated after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August.

China condemned Ms Pelosi’s trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island.

Despite this, several countries, including Germany, have sent delegations to the island since then, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an independent country but stops short of declaring independence.

China opposes any official contact of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable. 


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