Taiwan approves part of US arms deal after delay

June 16, 2007 05:57


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Taiwan's Legislature has approved a government budget that includes parts of a long-delayed US arms package. Lawmakers from the main opposition Nationalist Party, who hold a slim majority in the 219-seat Legislature, joined pro-government lawmakers on Friday in voting for the bill. The Nationalists had delayed the budget legislation for months in an attempt to compel the government to agree to reconstitute the island's election commission. But the tactic backfired as public opposition mounted amid funding shortages for important government programs. The budget includes 6.3 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$190 million, €140 million) earmarked for the acquisition of 12 US-made P3 Orion submarine-hunting aircraft and the financing of a feasibility study as a first step toward purchasing diesel submarines.

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