MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Taiwan has allocated $1.6 billion from public funds to build a domestic supply chain of drones within a year in case of confrontation with Beijing, British media reported on Wednesday, citing senior Taiwanese officials.The initiative is a part of efforts of Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, to make armed forces focus on an “increasingly pressing threat from Beijing,” which has stepped up its military maneuvers near the island since August, according to the newspaper.Taiwan’s administration aims to organize Taiwanese private drone makers into a “national team” to develop production of unmanned aerial vehicle systems for specific purposes in the event of tensions escalation in the Taiwan Strait, the report said, adding that the authorities expect first orders by July next year.”Our military has so far failed to present a clear concept for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in war fighting and to capitalise on our private sector’s significant capabilities in that field,” one senior official in Tsai’s administration told Financial Times.The situation around Taiwan escalated after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August. Beijing condemned Pelosi’s trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island. Despite this fact, several countries, including Germany, have sent delegations to the island since then, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
WorldChinese Defense Ministry Says Any Attempt to Prevent Taiwan-China Reunification Will Fail27 October, 12:16 GMTTaiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.