Tag Archive: Ministry of National Defense

October 15-17, 2017 – US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2017

US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2017

US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2017

Event: US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2017

October 15-17, 2017
Princeton, New Jersey

The US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2017 will be held October 15-17, 2017 in Princeton, New Jersey. This will be the sixteenth annual event in a series of ongoing conferences addressing the future of U.S. defense cooperation with Taiwan, the defense procurement process, and Taiwan’s defense and national security needs.

This year, the conference will open with a policy discussion on the Trump Administration’s current and future policies in Northeast Asia from a variety of regional perspectives, and will examine its potential impact on Taiwan defense affairs in the short, medium, and long term. We will then discuss the threat and response options for Taiwan, and how the island could exploit its adversary’s weaknesses in both traditional and emerging domains – covering air, land, and sea, as well as cyber and space. The final two sessions will extrapolate on those responses, and will examine their potential implications on developing business opportunities for the defense and security industries in both Taiwan and the United States.

The first conference in this series was the St. Petersburg, Florida event where former Taiwan Minister of National Defense Tang Yiau-ming gave the keynote address in March of 2002. The second conference in the series was held in February 2003 in San Antonio, Texas, the third in October 2004 in Phoenix, Arizona, the fourth in September 2005 in San Diego, California, the fifth in September 2006 in Denver, Colorado, and the sixth in September 2007 in Annapolis, Maryland. Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min gave the keynote address at the seventh conference in the series, held in September 2008 on Amelia Island, Florida. The eighth conference was held in September 2009 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the ninth in October 2010 in Cambridge, Maryland, and the tenth in September 2011 in Richmond, Virginia. The eleventh conference was held in September 2012 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and the twelfth in September 2013 in Annapolis, Maryland. The thirteenth conference in October 2014, the fourteenth in October 2015, and the fifteenth in October 2016 all took place in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Keynote Addresses & Conference Program
Keynote speakers will include senior representatives from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense and from the U.S. government.

Conference sessions at the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference feature a moderator and several speakers on the panel, and some sessions may include additional commentators. Each speaker gives a short presentation on the session topic from his or her own viewpoint and expertise. Those presentations are then followed by a moderator-led discussion among the panelists, as well as a moderator-driven question and answer period with the attendees. This format offers the maximum amount of time for exchanges among the panelists, as well as between the panel and the audience, allowing the sessions to become a forum for substantial and valuable interaction and discussion.

Registration is now open at the 2017 US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference website.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/october-15-17-2017-us-taiwan-defense-industry-conference-2017/

Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND) Reports


Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) occasionally publishes reports on the status of the military and national security in Taiwan.

Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)

The Amendment to Article 31 of the National Defense Act passed by the Legislative Yuan on July 17, 2008 mandates the MND to submit a Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) within ten months after every new president takes office in order to review and confirm defense strategy and military strategy, and provide a vision for future development.

The Taiwan Quadrennial Defense Review website is located at http://www.mnd.gov.tw

Quadrennial Defense Review 2009

Published in March, 2009

Quadrennial Defense Review 2013

Published in March, 2013

Quadrennial Defense Review 2017

Published in March, 2017

National Defense Report

The Ministry of National Defense is obligated to periodically report “what it has done, what it is doing, what it prepares to do, why it is going to do so” to the people in accordance with Article 30 of the National Defense Act. The National Defense Report is published to give citizens a better understanding of the nation’s current security environment and national defense policy.

The Taiwan National Defense Report website is located at http://www.mnd.gov.tw

National Defense Report 2002

Published July, 2002

National Defense Report 2008

Published May 13, 2008

National Defense Report 2011

Published August 22, 2011

National Defense Report 2013

Published October, 2013

National Defense Report 2015

Published October, 2015

For the Chinese language version, see http://www.mnd.gov.tw



Additional versions of these reports are also available at the Thinking Taiwan “Complete Collection of Taiwan’s Defence Policy Documents” page.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-ministry-of-national-defense-reports/

The Obama Administration Announces U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan


The US-Taiwan Business Council today welcomed the decision by the U.S. Department of State to announce its approval of possible Foreign Military Sales to Taiwan. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certifications notifying Congress of the proposed Taiwan sales on December 16, 2015.


The published Congressional Notifications (transmittal numbers 15-27, 15-44, 15-45, 15-72, 15-74, 16-01, 16-05, and 16-06) were for two of the four FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates that that the U.S. authorized by law for transfer to Taiwan a year ago, and associated materials (at a refurbishment and upgrade cost of US$190 million); 36 AAV-7 Assault Amphibious Vehicles (US$375 million); 13 MK 15 Phalanx Block 1B ship defense Close-In Weapon Systems, upgrade kits, ammunition, and support (US$416 million); 208 Javelin guided missiles, technical assistance, logistics, and program support (US$57 million); 769 BGM-71F-series TOW 2B Aero Radio Frequency anti-armor missiles, support, and training (US$268 million); 250 Block I-92F MANPAD Stinger missiles, related equipment and support (US$217 million); Taiwan Advanced Tactical Data Link System (TATDLS) and Link 11 communication systems integration (US$75 million); Follow-on support for Taiwan’s MIDS/LVT-1 and JTIDS previously procured (US$ 120 million).[i]


Taiwan is poised to elect a new President on January 16, 2016. The timing of this announcement is therefore useful as a modest signal to China that the U.S. has equities in the peaceful transition of power on the island, and that it supports Taiwan’s democratic system. However, the Taiwan Relations Act states that “the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.” In light of this recent sale, the US-Taiwan Business Council poses a number of questions for the Obama Administration:


  1. Why did it take over four years to prepare this arms package? The last U.S. arms sale to Taiwan took place on September 21, 2011.
  2. Why isn’t Taiwan being offered any new capabilities to counter changes to the Chinese threat over this period?
  3. What impact are delays in consideration and execution of Taiwan arms requests having on the island’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability?


The contents of the arms package announced today – along with the unprecedented four-year delay since the last arms sale – raises serious questions as to whether it serves as a response commensurate to the threat posed by China’s military. The past four years has seen increased Chinese force modernization efforts, and according to the U.S. Department of Defense “the PLA has developed and deployed military capabilities to coerce Taiwan or to attempt an invasion, if necessary.[ii]


The Obama Administration’s focus on China military-to-military engagement and other initiatives in which China’s cooperation is viewed as crucial, such as on climate change efforts, is directly and negatively impacting U.S. willingness to maintain consistent and credible support for Taiwan’s self-defense. This in turn directly impacts the seriousness with which China views our intentions to assist Taiwan.


Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers noted that “There have been myriad initiatives in U.S.-Taiwan bilateral security relations since the last arms sale in 2011. However, while China has deployed new fighters, submarines, and missiles during the last four years, the U.S. has consistently refused to consider providing Taiwan access to similar platforms, or even aiding their indigenous development.


In addition, the process for considering, assessing, and processing Taiwan arms sales is broken. The contorted efforts to provide the minimum over an extended period has amounted to long delays and to the U.S. providing only second-hand equipment and additional munitions for systems already in Taiwan’s inventory. The U.S. is placing its China priorities ahead of our legacy and legal requirement to provide for Taiwan’s self-defense. We see no effort to meaningfully address China’s modernization efforts with new capabilities for Taiwan – not because they are unneeded, but because the political cost to China relations is perceived as being too high. Yet that perception was roundly debunked by the Council and Project 2049 in our 2012 report on Chinese reactions to arms sales.[iii]


Hammond-Chambers also said “The process that has seen the bundling of Taiwan arms sales into large packages has run its course. The arbitrary manner in which programs are considered, the absence of a broader strategy for providing Taiwan consistent material support, and the long delays in processing and notifying them to Congress is hampering Taiwan’s ability to mount a serious defense. By bundling programs into packages, the U.S. forces Taiwan to buy all necessary equipment at once rather than in an orderly year-on-year process. If requests go unaddressed for years, or programs are long delayed, how can Taiwan reasonably maintain domestic political support for them, or develop the budget for its ongoing force modernization?


The US-Taiwan Business Council supports the return to a normal and regular process for assessing all Taiwan arms sales requests and sales. Additionally, the Council believes that the bilateral security relationship needs to be clear about what new capabilities should accompany ongoing training and exchanges in aid of Taiwan’s self-defense – including addressing quantitative issues impacting its fighter fleet, its requirement for submarines to complicate Chinese invasion scenarios, as well as further improvements in Taiwan’s missile defense capabilities.


[i] As of 1:00 pm on December 16, 2015. For details, see the DSCA website at http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales
[ii] See: “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015” http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2015_China_Military_Power_Report.pdf
[iii] See: “Chinese Reactions to Taiwan Arms Sales” http://www.us-taiwan.org/reports/2012_chinese_reactions_to_taiwan_arms_sales.pdf

Press Release: The Obama Administration Announces U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan (PDF)

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Chen Yeong-kang becomes Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of National Defense

Admiral Chen Yeong-kang became Taiwan’s new Deputy Minister of National Defense (Policy) on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Chen replaced Andrew Hsia, who stepped down to became Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council in January of 2015.

Chen’s former posts in the military include serving as Navy Commander, as head of the Republic of China Defense Mission in the United States, and as President of the National Defense University.

Chen, a long-time naval officer who has studied at the U.S. Naval Command College, is familiar with foreign affairs, foreign military weapons procurement, armed forces development and military education. While serving as Navy Commander, Chen was a driving force for Taiwan’s indigenous submarine program and was keen to push for the Navy’s modernization.

Source: Central News Agency

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/chen-yeong-kang-becomes-taiwans-deputy-minister-of-national-defense/


Admiral Kao Kuang-chi became Taiwan’s new Minister of National Defense on Friday, January 30, 2015. Kao replaced Yen Ming, who had held the post since August of 2013.

Kao, a former Navy commander and chief of the General Staff, will use his expertise to help carry out an indigenous submarine program and downsize the country’s troops as the military continues its efforts to build a small but elite force.

Source: Central News Agency

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/kao-kuang-chi-becomes-taiwan-minister-of-national-defense/


Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has released its 2013 National Defense Report.

The English language version of the report will be released next week has now been released. Please check back at the see the “Taiwan Ministry of National Defense Reports” page – we will post it there when it becomes available.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/2013-national-defense-report/


Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has announced that it will postpone abolishing the conscription system by two years to 2017, due to sluggish volunteer recruitment numbers.

MND postpones full voluntary system to 2017

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwans-ministry-of-national-defense-postpones-transition-to-all-volunteer-system/

Wall Street Journal Editorial: Taiwan’s Military Under Siege

US-Taiwan Business Council - Defense Logo

Taiwan’s Military Under Siege:
A hazing scandal could destabilize the island’s relations with Beijing and Washington

August 12, 2013
Editorial by Rupert Hammond-Chambers

After several years of relative calm, Taiwan faces a new political crossroads. The tragic hazing death of army conscript Hung Chung-chiu has thrown the entire island into turmoil, and brought a coalition of civil society groups into collision with the Ministry of National Defense (MND). The way the ruling Kuomintang handles the scandal could destabilize relations with both the U.S. and China.

Corporal Hung, after receiving significant physical hazing, died in disciplinary confinement. His alleged transgression was the taking of a camera phone on to a military base, but many speculate that he was privy to corruption on the base. The video footage of his confinement was erased before it could be handed over to judicial authorities. Taiwan’s citizens view this case through the prism of a MND that acts with impunity, and the possibility of corruption on the base has further aggravated events. Pro-China forces have jumped on the opportunity to further undermine the MND and claim that the military is unworthy of robust support.

Washington has reason to worry about that backlash because the MND is the most important pro-American institution within the government. Some in the KMT want to impose financial restrictions on the MND to “starve the beast” in the aftermath of the hazing scandal. This would further weaken the already underfunded MND at a time when the military requires resources and support to transform itself into a modern, well-equipped, and all-volunteer force. Mr. Ma committed to turning a conscript army into an all-volunteer force, but has so far failed to come up with the budget. That means the military is unable to execute a policy directive from its civilian leadership. The MND is frustrated over what it views as a policy that by design leaves it highly vulnerable to political attack. Recent events have also left a vacuum at the top, with two ministers resigning in rapid succession.

The scandal could also destabilize relations with mainland China. The “deep blue” – i.e. pro-China – members of Mr. Ma’s Kuomintang party want him to open political and military talks with Beijing, which has been frustrated with the lack of movement in this area after it made economic overtures to the island. The deep blue camp wants to restrict funds to the MND, claiming that China’s ongoing military build-up is nothing to worry about and that the money should be spent elsewhere. This is a dangerous road, as there is no consensus in Taiwan on moving forward with cross-Strait talks. More than 90% of Taiwan’s citizens support the status quo of de facto independence, and forcing through such talks would further polarize Taiwan society. But without a credible defense, Taiwan could one day be forced to accept Beijing’s terms on reunification.

Chinese leaders must be watching these developments with positive glee. Taipei is doing more damage to its own ability to deter mainland coercion and military attack than any weapon the People’s Liberation Army could conceive. This damage represents a serious threat to Taiwan’s national security, and by extension to the national security of the U.S. and Japan.

Given the political atmosphere, the KMT’s prospects in next year’s five municipal elections are tenuous at best. If the opposition DPP wins three or more municipalities, they will likely have the momentum to regain the presidency in 2016. And even if the KMT hold on to the presidency, the incoming president will have limited maneuvering room in relations with China. Either way, tensions are set to rise as China sees its present strategy of engagement founder on the realities of Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.

The Obama administration’s decision rhetorically and substantively to omit Taiwan from its pivot to Asia telegraphs to China that Taiwan is no longer central to U.S. policy. By doing so, the U.S. is inviting Chinese adventurism when the present trajectory of Taiwan-China relations changes in the spring of 2016, if not sooner. China is currently playing nice, because it believes that Taiwan is being drawn inexorably into the fold. That explains why cross-Strait relations have been calm since Mr. Ma’s election in 2008. However, if Beijing starts to believe that time is no longer on its side, we can expect behavior more in line with China’s aggressiveness toward its other neighbors.

If the U.S. wants to avoid repeating Dean Acheson’s mistake of encouraging North Korea to invade the South in 1950, it needs to signal resolve to defend Taiwan. Taiwan’s democratic growing pains should not open the door for further Chinese coercion. The U.S. can recalibrate its Taiwan policy by restarting the arms sales to Taiwan that have been stalled for two years. The first step should be new F-16 C/D fighters, followed by assistance with the procurement of submarines. In addition, as Mr. Obama has instructed his cabinet officers to make at least one visit to Asia each year, Taiwan should be a port-of-call for all the economic officers making that trip. More senior uniformed officers need to visit Taiwan, both to improve communication at the highest levels and offer U.S. support for the MND and its reform efforts.

The Obama administration has been happy with the U.S.-Taiwan relationship under President Ma, especially compared to the turbulence under his predecessor Chen Shui-bian. But this is because both sides have been content to allow the relationship to drift. Taiwan asks for little, which the U.S. provides. This complacency will come back to haunt both nations soon.


Rupert Hammond-Chambers is President of the US-Taiwan Business Council


Editorial Published in the Wall Street Journal’s “Opinion Asia” section, August 12, 2013
PDF of Editorial

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/wall-street-journal-editorial-taiwans-military-under-siege/


On June 11, 2013 the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission published a research report on Taiwan’s declining defense spending, and how it may affect not only procurement but also the Taiwan military’s modernization efforts and transition to an all-volunteer force.

Staff Research Backgrounder: Taiwan’s Declining Defense Spending Could Jeopardize Military Preparedness

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/uscc-report-taiwans-declining-defense-spending-could-jeopardize-military-preparedness/