Following the news that a record number of Chinese military aircraft have entered Taiwan’s air defense zone; William Davies, Associate Aerospace, Defence and Security Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“The increasing number of military incursions by China underscores what Taiwan will see as its justification in maintaining record levels of defense spending in recent years, which according to GlobalData is set to reach *US$18bn by 2026.
“Taiwan’s defense budget is driven by the country’s need to purchase advanced military capability as a deterrent to its superpower neighbor – for example by acquiring F-16s, its first indigenous submarine and a precision missile system.
“Taiwan’s military strategy essentially acknowledges that the country would not be able to engage in a full-scale war with China. Instead, it is focused on retaining high-quality platforms with the capability of deterring its neighbor from making any serious attempt to invade – such as the special budget passed in 2019 for F16Vs, which will help to modernize its armed forces.
“In recent years, China has been increasingly willing to push back against claims of Taiwanese autonomy, and the election of a pro-independence candidate Tsai Ing-wen in 2020 has only increased its neighbor’s threats towards the Island nation, and, therefore, its associated need for increased defense spending.”
* Source: GlobalData’s latest report: Taiwan Defense Market: Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2026.