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Taiwan plans 50 percent increase in military spending

op politics and current affairs news for March 17, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Credit ratings with teeth."
2 weeks ago
Lucas Niewenhuis

  • 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.

By Lucas Niewenhuis
Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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