Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Taiwan Opposition Parties Shoot Down Controversial Mega-Arms Package

The latest version of the arms bill calls for the purchase of eight conventional submarines and 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft from the United States over a 15-year period for around 340 billion Taiwan dollars (10 billion US).
Taipei (AFP) Sep 13, 2005
Taiwan's two main opposition parties Tuesday blocked a controversial 10-billion-dollar arms purchase from the United States even though the ruling party has scaled back the cost of the package from 19 billion.

The bill, proposed by the defense ministry, failed to win approval by the procedure committee of the opposition-controlled parliament, a necessary step before it can be heard in the full house.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of President Chen Shui-bian was furious.

"What the Kuomintang and People First Party love to do is to boycott ... regardless of Taiwan's need to defend itself," the DPP's parliamentary whip Lai Ching-teh told reporters.

The opposition insisted the arms bill is illegal after Taiwanese voted against the proposed purchase in the island's first referendum held simultaneously with presidential polls in March 2004.

"According to the referendum, the DPP government must not file the bill within three years," Kuomintang lawmaker Lai Shyh-bao told AFP.

The defense ministry regretted the result but pledged "to continue communication with parliamentarians."

The latest version of the arms bill calls for the purchase of eight conventional submarines and 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft from the United States over a 15-year period for around 340 billion Taiwan dollars (10 billion US).

The six PAC-3 Patriot anti-missile systems included in the original bill would be financed by the government's yearly budgets.

Chen said last week that his government would strive to acquire sophisticated weaponry to defend itself against a Chinese invasion.

China has deployed up to 730 ballistic missiles opposite the island which it regards as part of its territory. It threatens to invade if Taiwan declares formal independence.

People First Party chairman James Soong has played down the threat.

"When I visited Beijing in May, China's President Hu Jintao told me that there would not be any military threat facing Taiwan as long as it does not declare independence," he said last week.

In December the procedure committee killed the original arms procurement bill, which was priced at more than 610 billion Taiwan dollars (19 billion US).

The committee again blocked an amended version of the bill, with spending reduced to 480 billion Taiwan dollars, earlier this year.

Some opposition lawmakers said Taiwan could not afford the arms deal while others said the equipment would be delivered too slowly to enable the island to catch up with China's military build-up.

Relations between China and Taiwan, which split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, have worsened since independence-leaning Chen was elected president in 2000. He was re-elected last year.

All rights reserved. 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

Related Links
Search SpaceWar
Subscribe To SpaceWar Express

Taiwan Flexes Military Muscle, Pushes For Mega Arms Purchase From US
Tsoying Naval Base, Taiwan (AFP) Sep 06, 2005
Taiwan Tuesday demonstrated its naval power in a high-profile drill, as President Chen Shui-bian pressed for a 10-billion-dollar US arms deal to beef up the island's defense capability against rival China.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.