Taiwan recorded incursions by around 970 Chinese warplanes into its air defence zone in 2021, more than double the roughly 380 in 2020.
The figure this year has already exceeded 980, with more than 360 incursions recorded in August alone.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the budget gave full consideration to the “enemy threat”.
“In the face of the Chinese communists’ continuous expansion of targeted military activities in recent years and the normalised use of warships and military aircraft to raid and disturb Taiwan’s surrounding seas and airspace, the military adheres to the principle of preparing for war without seeking war and defending national security with strength,” it added.
Assoc Prof Chong said that Taiwan’s ramped-up defence spending would send a signal to the US, neighbouring Japan and other countries.
“That Taiwan is taking its own defence seriously and is ready to hold off any armed aggression from the PRC as best it can. This move intends to reinforce the view that Taiwan is a reliable partner,” he said.
“Taipei is also signalling to Beijing that any use of force could be potentially costly, even if it is able to win eventually.”
Dr Ho said that the ongoing tensions in the Taiwan Strait remain a key flashpoint in Asia and would be watched by most governments in the region.
Both Taiwan and China’s recent moves to expand their militaries “demonstrates that certainly there is cause for concern”, he told CNA938 in an interview.
In March, China said it would spend 7 per cent more on defence this year, setting the spending figure at US$211.62 billion.
“Ultimately military capabilities are a function of threat assessment, so it’s really about how these intentions are being interpreted by policymakers that will determine how these capabilities will be put to use or not put to use,” said Dr Ho.