In the middle of escalating tension with China, Taiwan decides to increase its military budget next year by 10.2% with the comparison to this year. According to Reuters, President Tsai Ing-wen proposed T$453.4 billion ($15.42 billion) for the starting of next year, her continuous efforts to modernize the Taiwanese military can be clearly seen in the last few years. China is continuously showing aggressive behaviour towards Taiwan and set up its military around the island.
President Tsai Ing-wen has been very vocal about Chinese aggression and constantly supporting the autonomy of Hong Kong. She won the election in January with a landslide victory and ever since China is threatening about the inevitable Unification of Taiwan with mainland China. Recently Taiwan unveiled its indigenous advance jet trainer, which can be seen as the major boost for the Island’s Aero Industries. This small island nation is already in discussion with the U.S.A to get the sea mines to deter any kind of amphibious landings and as well as the cruise missiles for the coastal defence said Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the U.S.A. Last year, the U.S. State Department approved arms sales worth US$10 billion for Taiwan, including 106 M1A2 Abrams tanks and 66 F-16V fighter jets.
After winning the election this year, President Tsai expressed her strong views to maintain the sovereignty & democracy of Taiwan. The deep sentiment against the aggressive behaviour of China led to the nationalist feelings among the youth of this island nation. Taiwan is getting a lot of appreciation among the netizens from all around the globe for their goodwill during this COVID outbreak. But On the other hand, Taiwan recently lost its one of the allied nation Kiribati, it was seen as the major setback for Taiwan’s global recognition efforts.
Recently same kind of announcement regarding the increment of the Defence budget was made by Australia. The US too wants Taiwan to increase its military budget for the better defence and that’s why continuously providing enough assistance to Taiwan. Though in upcoming months, America will be having its presidential elections and only time will tell how USA engages with the island nation further/ the policy of the USA towards the island nation but some analysts have come with their views as such, if Democrats will win the election, they will again minimise their engagement towards Taiwan in order to improve their relations with China. However, all these are speculations and only time will tell us what place will Taiwan hold in between these two superpowers.
The author is currently pursuing his Masters from University of Delhi. Graduated in Physics, he likes to be au courant with technological impact on the Foreign Policy architectures as well as Geopolitical operationality in the Indo-Pacific.