Ministry to push for arms deal with US

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 December, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 December, 2004, 12:00am

Taiwan's Ministry of Defence said yesterday it would push ahead with a plan to put a NT$610 billion ($147 billion) arms purchase from the United States on the agenda of a meeting tomorrow.

The proposed arms deal will be discussed by the incumbent Legislative Yuan Procedure Committee despite the failure of the Democratic Progressive Party and its allies to win a majority in Saturday's election.

Quoting a ministry official, the semi-official Central News Agency reported that the ministry hoped the committee would endorse the deal for consideration by the new Legislative Yuan.

The official said the ministry was not concerned about which party held the majority of seats in the law-making body, stressing that the army was 'doing what should be done'.

The opposition pan-blue camp, which comprises the Kuomintang People First Party and New Party, has vowed to oppose the arms purchase, which was proposed by the DPP.

The issue became a hot election topic.

'They [the pan-blue camp] can have their hopes while we have ours,' said the official.

The official urged Taiwan's political parties to take into account the island's security needs, including the safety of its sea routes, and to stop politicising the deal, the according to the Central News Agency.