Taipei--President Tsai Ing-wen (???) pledged on Friday to adjust the government's defense budget and stressed Taiwan has the determination and ability to defend itself.
Taiwan "will not yield even one inch of land" when it comes to national defense, Tsai said.
The defense budget will be adjusted according to demand and the government's finances, Tsai said during a speech at the National Defense University's graduation ceremony, without saying what adjustments might be made.
She urged the public to show more support for national defense and the military and said her administration has pushed related reforms over the past year to address the gap in defense capabilities between Taiwan and China.
She warned, however, that Taiwan needs to stay vigilant even though it is currently at peace, arguing that the best way to avoid war is to be fully prepared for it.
"Peace should not be taken for granted, and the nation's defense should not be overlooked because of the peaceful situation," Tsai said.
In addition, Tsai thanked the U.S. government for approving arms sales to Taiwan, the first defense assistance announced by the Trump administration since its inauguration in January.
Also in her speech, Tsai addressed the issue of military pension reform.
The retirement benefits of two other major groups of public employees, public school teachers and civil servants, are being substantially slashed by Tsai's government, but she has not touched the military pension system, which is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Tsai guaranteed soldiers their right to a pension and said the Ministry of National Defense is planning a new pension system to take care of military personnel because of the different nature of their jobs compared to other public employees.
She offered no details, however, on what the new system might entail.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel