President Tsai Ing-wen said April 17 during a visit to a front-line air force base in Taiwan’s outlying Penghu County that the government and people are deeply grateful for the sacrifices of the nation’s fighting men and women.
Increasing activity by military aircraft and ships dispatched from China is causing concern for like-minded countries throughout the region, Tsai said. It is jeopardizing the cross-strait status quo and threatening peace and stability, she added.
But Taiwan is not intimidated, Tsai said, as such provocative actions only serve to steel the resolve of the country’s armed forces to safeguard national security.
According to Tsai, the needs of the military are of paramount importance, and the government is leaving no stone unturned in enhancing the operational capabilities of the military.
Defense of the homeland calls for more than courage and an iron will, Tsai said. It requires the government to match this commitment with requisite spending on cutting-edge equipment, information communication technology, infrastructure, supplies and training, she added.
The recent announcement of the third U.S. arms sale to Taiwan under the administration of President Donald J. Trump represents another strong vote of confidence in the government and people, Tsai said. The estimated US$500 million package covers costs associated with the training of the country’s F-16 pilots at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
These personnel will return home and play an integral part in strengthening the air force’s ability to defend the skies over Taiwan and protect its 23 million people, Tsai added. (SFC-E)
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