Big ticket items include everything from drones to fighter jets and anti-ballistic missile systems. But there's only one place for Taipei to buy from, the United States. As Reuters' Greg Torod explains, that puts Washington in a political tight spot.>> Well, some of this equipment, they came to build up themselves.
They seem to be keen to accelerate a domestic ship building program, they're wanting to produce their own jet fighter trainers. But they're certainly gonna need more kit from the US. And it's gonna be quite a test of that relationship that is subject of ongoing strategic ambiguity that's quite deliberate, because of the unofficial nature of the relationship.
Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, is planning to boost yearly defense spending by at least 20% to nearly $13 billion by 2025, to reverse years of defense cuts under a previous Beijing-friendly administration. Experts say Taiwan is betting on making any attack by China too painful to consider.>> Analysts tell us that they know Taiwan would struggle to ever defeat the Chinese military.
But what they can do is effectively raise the costs and deter China from ever mounting any kind of invasion. They can do that by increasing their ability to strike targets on the Chinese coast, which many people believe is the kind of capabilities they're looking at.>> Taiwan isn't alone among Asian nations keeping an eye on China's rise.
Japan in particular is quietly spending more on defense. China for its part has ramped up long range air force drills in recent months. Last week it sailed an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait.>>