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Taiwan plans $9bn boost to arms spending, warns of 'severe threat'

Extra budget comes on top of planned military expenditures of $17bn for 2022

A military drill in Tainan, Taiwan, on September 14. The Defense Ministry says the island faces "severe threats from the enemy."   © Reuters

TAIPEI (Reuters) -- Taiwan on Thursday proposed extra defense spending of 240 billion New Taiwan dollars ($8.69 billion) over the next five years, including on new missiles, as it warned of an urgent need to upgrade weapons in the face of a "severe threat" from China.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has made modernizing the armed forces -- well-armed but dwarfed by China's -- and increasing defense spending a priority, especially as Beijing ramps up its military and diplomatic pressure against the island it claims as "sacred" Chinese territory.

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