Friday, March 7, 2014

Taiwan could hold out against China for at least a month: minister

Taiwan would be able put up a defense against a large-scale Chinese military invasion for "at least a month," the country's defense minister, Yen Ming, said Thursday.

Female Soldiers of Taiwanese Armed Forces

Yen made the comment when answering questions before the Legislative Yuan's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, citing the results of the military's annual Han Kuang exercises.

Hsueh Ling, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party legislator who posed the question, praised Yen for having "guts," saying that Lee Jye, who was defense minister from 2004 to 2007, had said Taiwan could maintain its own defense for just two weeks.

The exchanges at the Legislative Yuan came a day after China announced that it will increase its military budget for 2014 to almost US$132 billion, a 12.2% rise over last year.

Although no match for the fast-growing Chinese war machine, Taiwan's military is believed to have adopted a strategy that includes holding out on its own for as long as possible while the government seeks diplomatic as well as military assistance from other countries, particularly the United States.

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