Taiwan plans 50 percent increase in military spending
Top politics and current affairs news for March 17, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Credit ratings with teeth."
- Taiwan plans military spending surge to counter rising China / Bloomberg
Today, a 50 percent increase in defense spending — from about 2 percent to 3 percent of overall economic output — was announced for next year by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. The new funding, while significant, does not yet match the 5 percent of GDP that Taiwan spent on its military a few decades ago, and the new efforts are largely focused on newer “asymmetric” technology, including in airpower and drones. The focus on advanced technology may be aided by the U.S., from which Taiwan plans to request stealth fighters, and which The New York Times reports (paywall) is “likely to sell Taiwan a large order of weapons.” Taiwan also confirmed that it has the capability to strike any mainland Chinese military base, including the one furthest from the island, which is 857 miles (1,380 kilometers) away.
- China restricts access to foreign children’s books / Financial Times (paywall)
The thousands of foreign children’s books translated yearly into Chinese will soon be reduced to hundreds, in accordance with a new directive from regulators to publishers in China, the Financial Times reports. Initial news of the restrictions appeared in the South China Morning Post last week. We noted then that the massive online marketplace Taobao would no longer be allowed to sell any kind of foreign media publications — even those that are legally distributed by Chinese state-owned firms. Both events are part of an intensifying crackdown on Western ideology in education at all levels.
- Trio to appeal three-year jail sentence each for role in Mong Kok riot – from clashes in February 2016 / SCMP
- Opinion: Donald Trump is no friend of Taiwan / Foreign Policy Research Institute
- China’s premier to visit Australia next week to push trade / Bloomberg
- In Duterte’s Davao, China’s vice premier prioritizes deals over disputes / Reuters
- Xi, Merkel vow to support free trade ahead of German leader’s meeting with Trump / SCMP
- Trump adviser Gary Cohn to sell stake in Chinese bank giant / NYT (paywall)
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