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Taiwan Military Unveils 'Early Warning' Planes

Taiwan has unveiled two new surveillance aircraft purchased from the United States, designed to reinforce its defenses against rival China.

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian showed off the new E2-K planes during a public ceremony Saturday at an air force base in the island's southern Pingtung region.

Officials say the new planes will expand the range of surveillance radar and can also guide fighter planes to intercept incoming aircraft.

The new planes are part of effort by President Chen to balance Taiwan's military strength with China's. But opposition lawmakers argue he is entering the island in an expensive arms race it cannot win.

Taiwan split from China amid a civil war in 1949. China considers the island part of its territory.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.