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Taiwan tensions

Taiwan raises defense budget 14.9% amid military reform debate

Record allocation comes as pressure grows to confront hard questions about security

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visits soldiers at a military base in New Taipei City, Taiwan, in this handout picture released Aug. 23.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's government proposed a record defense budget for 2023 on Thursday, as its military remains keen to develop conventional weapons despite growing domestic and U.S. calls to focus on asymmetrical warfare.

The proposed budget of NT$523.4 billion ($17.3 billion) is a 14.9% increase from this year's total allocation. The figure includes NT$108.3 for new advanced combat jets and programs for elevating sea and air combat capability. The total budget would reach NT$586.3 billion if another special fund is included.

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