Asia

Taiwan military to upgrade fighters, seek stealth capability

Taiwan says it is planning to upgrade its F-16 fighter jets and will seek cutting-edge stealth aircraft from the United States in the face of a growing military threat from rival China.

Thursday's announcement follows the release of this year's $11.4 billion defense budget, an increase of less than 1 percent from last year.

That compares to China's 7 percent rise in defense spending, announced this week, to about $151 billion, the world's second largest after the United States.

Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan told lawmakers that Taiwan is focusing on inexpensive but effective "asymmetric warfare" techniques to combat threats in the air and seas.

China considers the self-governing island to be its own territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary.