Tag Archive: political

Taiwan in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 2018

Update, September 18, 2017

On this date, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 by Yea-Nay Vote of 89 – 8. Sections 1268 and 1270E were not changed from the House version. However, Section 1270G – normalizing the transfer of Defense Articles and Defense Services to Taiwan – is not included in the Senate version.

The bill now awaits reconciliation and final signature.

Update, July 14, 2017

The NDAA, as H.R.2810, was introduced in the House on June 7, 2017. On July 14, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018. Several Taiwan-related initiatives were included.

Section 1268 deals with a sense of Congress on strengthening Taiwan defense:

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8; 22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.) codified the basis for commercial, cultural, and other relations between the United States and Taiwan, and the Six Assurances are an important aspect in guiding bilateral relations;

(2) Section 3(a) of that 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’’;

(3) the United States, in accordance with such section, should make available and provide timely review of requests for defense articles and defense services that may be necessary for Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability;

(4) Taiwan should significantly increase its defense budget to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability;

(5) the United States should support expanded exchanges focused on practical training for Taiwan personnel by and with United States military units, including exchanges between services, to empower senior military officers to identify and develop asymmetric and innovative capabilities that strengthen Taiwan’s ability to deter aggression;

(6) the United States should seek opportunities for expanded training and exercises with Taiwan;

(7) the United States should encourage Taiwan’s continued investments in asymmetric self-defense capabilities that are mobile, survivable against threatening forces, and able to take full advantage of Taiwan’s geography; and

(8) the United States should continue to—
     (A) support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises that increase Taiwan’s resiliency and ability to respond to and recover from natural disasters; and
     (B) recognize Taiwan’s already valuable military contributions to such efforts.

Section 1270E deals with a report on Naval Port of Call Exchanges between the United States and Taiwan:

(a) Report Required.–Not later than September 1, 2018, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the following:
     (1) An assessment of the feasibility and advisability regarding ports of call by the United States Navy at ports on the island of Taiwan.
     (2) An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of the United States to receiving ports of call by the Republic of China navy in Hawaii, Guam, and other appropriate locations.

(b) Form.–The report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

(c) Appropriate Committees of Congress Defined.–In this section, the term “appropriate committees of Congress” means–
     (1) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
     (2) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

 

Section 1270G deals with a sense of Congress on normalizing the transfer of defense articles and defense services to Taiwan:

(a) Sense of Congress.–It is the sense of Congress that any requests from the Government of Taiwan for defense articles and defense services should receive a case-by-case review by the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, that is consistent with the standard processes and procedures in an effort to normalize the arms sales process with Taiwan.

(b) Report.–
     (1) In general.–Not later than 120 days after the date on which the Secretary of Defense receives a Letter of Request from Taiwan with respect to the transfer of a defense article or defense service to Taiwan, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes–
          (A) the status of such request;
          (B) if the transfer of such article or service would require a certification or report to Congress pursuant to any applicable provision of section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2776), the status of any Letter of Offer and Acceptance the Secretary of Defense intends to issue with respect to such request; and
          (C) an assessment of whether the transfer of such article or service would be consistent with United States obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96-8; 22 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.).
     (2) Elements.–Each report required under paragraph (1) shall specify the following:
          (A) The date the Secretary of Defense received the Letter of Request.
          (B) The value of the sale proposed by such Letter of Request.
          (C) A description of the defense article or defense service proposed to be transferred.
          (D) The view of the Secretary of Defense with respect to such proposed sale and whether such sale would be consistent with defense plans.
     (3) Form.–Each report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.

(c) Briefing.–Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall provide a briefing to the appropriate congressional committees with respect to the security challenges faced by Taiwan and the military cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, including a description of any requests from Taiwan for the transfer of defense articles or defense services and the status, whether signed or unsigned, of any Letters of Offer and Acceptance with respect to such requests.

(d) Definitions.–In this section:
     (1) Appropriate congressional committees.–The term “appropriate congressional committees” means–
          (A) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and
          (B) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
     (2) Defense article; defense service.–The terms “defense article” and “defense service” have the meanings given such terms in section 47 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2794).
     (3) Letter of request; letter of offer and acceptance.–The terms “Letter of Request” and “Letter of Offer and Acceptance” have the meanings given such terms for purposes of Chapter 5 of the Security Assistance Management Manual of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

June 28, 2017

On this date, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) announced details of the committee’s markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. During the markup, 277 amendments — offered by both Republican and Democratic members — were considered and adopted. The committee voted unanimously to report the bill.

In a summary document provided following the markup, the SASC stated that the bill:

Reestablishes regular ports of call by the U.S. Navy at Kaohsiung or any other suitable ports in Taiwan and permits U.S. Pacific Command to receive ports of call by Taiwan; directs the Department to implement a program of technical assistance to support Taiwanese efforts to develop indigenous undersea warfare capabilities, including vehicles and sea mines; and expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should strengthen and enhance its long-standing partnership and strategic cooperation with Taiwan.

This post will continue to track the Taiwan-related language in the 2018 NDAA, as circumstances warrant.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-in-the-national-defense-authorization-act-ndaa-2018/

The DPP’s National Defense Agenda

DPP’s  Defense  Agenda

 

On May 26, 2015 the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) think tank New Frontier Foundation released four “blue papers” covering the DPP’s national defense agenda. (Press Conference)

The first of these papers (Defense Policy Blue Paper 9) has been completely translated into English, but in the remaining reports only the forewords have been translated. Forewords are written by DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen.

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 9 – Taiwan’s Military Capacities in 2025

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 10 – Information Protection and Strategic Communications

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 11 – Refinement of Veteran Affairs

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 12 – Preparing the Development of Indigenous Defense Industry

 


 

On December 5, 2014, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) think tank New Frontier Foundation released its eight “blue paper” covering the DPP’s national defense agenda.

Titled “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief,” the paper calls for the Taiwan armed forces to expand their role and mission in order to improve military effectiveness in contingencies other than war.

English language foreword by DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen

Report Announcement

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 8 – Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

 


 

On October 6, 2014, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) think tank New Frontier Foundation released its seventh “blue paper” covering the DPP’s national defense agenda.

Titled “Bolstering Taiwan’s Core Defense Industries,” the paper calls for reviving the domestic defense industry, with the goal of elevating Taiwan’s capacity to produce its own defensive equipment and weaponry.

English language foreword by DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen

Report Announcement

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 7 – Bolstering Taiwan’s Core Defense Industries

 


 

On August 22, 2014, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) think tank New Frontier Foundation released its sixth “blue paper” covering the DPP’s national defense agenda.

Titled “New Generation of Soldiers,” the paper calls for initiating reform of internal military affairs with personnel considerations as a core value, and strengthening the connection between the military and society.

English language foreword by DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen

Report Announcement

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 6 – New Generation of Soldiers

 


 

On March 3, 2014, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) think tank New Frontier Foundation released its fifth “blue paper” covering the DPP’s national defense agenda.

In announcing the report, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang firmly stressed the need for Taiwan to pursue stronger defense capabilities. He stated that the DPP will take full responsibility of becoming the catalyst for strengthening national defenses by encouraging indigenous defense production, especially for submarine capabilities. He also stated that Taiwan must “promptly adjust its national defense strategy, military strategy, and operational concepts” to meet growing Chinese military threats and “establish Taiwan’s self-defense capability.”

The report itself stated that Taiwan should focus on fostering private investment in indigenous R&D, next-generation weapons, and cyber warfare.

Both the Chinese and English versions have been compiled into one document (the English translation begins on page 37).

Report Announcement

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 5 – China’s Military Threats against Taiwan in 2025

 


 

On June 6, 2013 the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) think tank New Frontier Foundation released four “blue papers” covering the DPP’s national defense agenda. (Press Conference, Report Announcement)

The first report covers the overall strategy and philosophy behind the DPP’s national defense policy. The second report covers recommendations on transforming the quasi-governmental Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), and on strengthening the nation’s military-industrial and research capabilities. The third report covers recommendations for Taiwan’s National Security Council (NSC), while the fourth outlines the DPP’s plans to strengthen military cooperation between Taiwan and the United States.

The first paper has been completely translated into English, but in the remaining reports only the forewords have been translated.

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 1 – DPP’s  Defense  Agenda

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 2 – Transforming  the  CSIST: Strengthening Indigenous Defense Research and Development

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 3 – An Accountable National Security Council

DPP Defense Policy Blue Paper 4 – New Chapter for Taiwan‐U.S. Defense Partnership

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/the-dpp-national-defense-agenda/

September 30 – October 2, 2012 – US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2012

Event:
US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2012

September 30-October 2, 2012
Hershey, Pennsylvania

2012 US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference

The US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2012 was held September 30 – October 2, 2012 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This was the eleventh 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, conference sessions discussed innovative military tactics and capabilities, and examined how Taiwan can implement such innovation. We also addressed Taiwan defense policy in President Ma’s second term, held a discussion on challenges in the U.S./China/Taiwan trilateral political environment, and reviewed opportunities for collaboration between the U.S. and Taiwan in meeting the cyber threat.

The first conference in this series was the St. Petersburg, Florida event where former 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 conference was held in October 2010 in Cambridge, Maryland, and the tenth conference was held in September 2011 in Richmond, Virginia.

Keynote Addresses
Keynote speakers at the 2012 conference included senior representatives from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Dr. Paul Wolfowitz was the conference host.
Keynote Speech by Andrew Yang, Taiwan’s Vice Minister of National Defense (Policy) (PDF)

Conference Program
Sessions at the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference featured a moderator and several speakers on the panel, and some sessions included additional commentators. Each speaker gave a short presentation on the session topic from his or her own viewpoint and expertise. Those presentations were 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.

Website for the 2012 US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/september-30-october-2-2012-us-taiwan-defense-industry-conference-2012/

Special Commentary: Signing of an LOA to Upgrade Taiwan’s F-16 A/B Fighters

The US-Taiwan Business Council congratulates the governments of the United States and Taiwan on their recent signing of a US$3.8 billion Letter of Offer & Acceptance (LOA) to upgrade Taiwan’s 145 F-16 A/B fighters. This deal will provide Taiwan’s existing fleet of F-16 A/Bs with important enhancements by means of a contract spanning nearly a decade of work (2012-2021). The agreement provides for Taiwan adding advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar to its fighters, as well as for making structural upgrades, improving avionics, and expanding electronic warfare suites.

The future boost in Taiwan’s airpower capabilities represented by this LOA was a long time in coming. It would not have happened without the leadership of Senator John Cornyn. As a result of the Senator’s perseverance, the Obama Administration notified to Congress a US$5.3 billion F-16 A/B upgrade program in September 2011. In the absence of Senator Cornyn’s personal attention to this important Asia Pacific security matter, it is likely that the upgrade program LOA would not have been consummated last Friday, July 13, 2012.

Despite this positive development, however, Taiwan’s very real and urgent requirement for additional fighters remains unaddressed.

Taiwan & the U.S. Re-Balance Towards Asia

The Obama Administration is currently paying increased attention to the Asia Pacific region, and has undertaken a significant effort to highlight its “Pivot to Asia” and its re-balancing of priorities. This is welcome news.

In the context of this re-balancing effort, moving ahead with the F-16 A/B upgrade program is an important initial step in Taiwan’s effort to play its role in the region. However, Taiwan’s requirement to also purchase new fighters is just as serious and urgent as the U.S.-supported modernization programs for Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.

It is important to clearly understand the grave issues faced by Taiwan’s air forces after 2016. In the latter part of that year, the Taiwan Air Force will start to withdraw up to a squadron (24) at a time of F-16 A/Bs to undergo upgrades and modernization. With 16 fighters permanently allocated for training at Luke Air Force Base, and with an operational rate of 70%, Taiwan will then have as few as 73 F-16 A/Bs operational at any one time – half of its existing fleet. In addition, these remaining fighters will not yet have been modernized, and will be required to fly more missions to attempt to maintain control over Taiwan’s myriad defense and security scenarios. This is simply not enough to handle all of Taiwan’s many needs, whether at war or while at peace.

What is the Plan to Fill Taiwan’s 2016-2021 Fighter Gap?

In an April 27, 2012 letter to Senator Cornyn, the White House stated that it is “mindful of and share your concerns about Taiwan’s growing shortfall in fighter aircraft.” The letter also noted that the Obama Administration is deciding “on a near term course of action on how to address Taiwan’s fighter gap, including through the sale to Taiwan of an undetermined number of new US-made fighter aircraft.”

This important language should be at the center of the next stage of Taiwan’s air force modernization. Neither the U.S. nor Taiwan has the luxury to take several years to determine what to do next. The two governments need to settle on a plan in the coming months, a plan that can be implemented so that while Taiwan’s F-16 A/Bs are being withdrawn from the front line in 2016 and beyond, new fighters are available to fill the gap. This plan could be as simple as a phased approval approach. Phase I could be for a small number of new F-16s (24) to compensate for those existing aircraft out of service during the upgrade program. These new aircraft could be delivered in parallel with the upgrade/modification schedule.

There are some who argue that the F-35B – the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the new U.S. fighter – should be the focus of Taiwan efforts to modernize its fighter fleet. In 2011, press reports indicated that a U.S. Department of Defense report to Congress highlighted a STOVL aircraft as the best solution for Taiwan.

Certainly a STOVL variant would meet many of Taiwan’s needs, and if it was available that could be an attractive option. However, the F-35B will certainly not be made available to Taiwan in the next decade. It therefore fails to meet Taiwan’s fighter gap needs between 2016 and 2021. In addition, the F-35B is significantly more expensive than the F-16 C/D – it represents a new airframe and therefore a new supply chain to keep it operational through training, upgrading, and maintenance. The F-35B would therefore create even greater budgetary pressures for Taiwan’s already under-funded defense establishment.

The US-Taiwan Business Council welcomes the signing of the F-16 A/B upgrade and modernization contract this past Friday. Nevertheless, this action does not offer a complete solution. Indeed, removing F-16 A/Bs from the front line to be upgraded actually makes Taiwan’s 2016-2021 fighter gap that much wider. Taiwan will not have enough fighters to patrol its skies.

The Council urges the U.S. & Taiwan governments to put a plan in place as soon as possible to address this destabilizing shortfall.

Special Commentary: Signing of an LOA to Upgrade Taiwan’s F-16 A/B Fighters

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/special-commentary-signing-of-an-loa-to-upgrade-taiwans-f-16ab-fighters/

Taiwan Defense & Security Report – Q1, 2012

Report Cover: Taiwan Defense & National Security Report – Q1, 2012

Report Cover: Taiwan Defense & National Security Report – Q1, 2012


The year 2012 began with presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan, and the results will help shape the trilateral relationship between Taipei, Beijing and Washington over the next four years.

Despite his stronger-than-expected showing at the polls as he was re-elected, President Ma Ying-jeou has already begun struggling with rapidly falling popularity. Ma has also seen widespread public resentment over some difficult policy decisions – decisions that he had declined to make before the presidential election, but that he felt compelled to push forward during the period between the election and his formal inauguration in May. It remains to be seen whether this signals the shape of things to come during Mr. Ma’s second term, and how his weak political standing could impact his cross-Strait and national security policies going forward.

This quarterly analysis report will provide a brief overview of significant defense and national security developments in the past few months, and will examine some of the factors that influenced the course of events during the first three months of 2012. It will examine the political environment in Taiwan, assess cross-Strait relations, look at Taiwan defense policy and defense budget issues, and appraise the status of the U.S.-Taiwan defense relationship. The report ends with an update on the current state of affairs for select Taiwan procurement programs.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-defense-security-report-q1-2012/

Taiwan Defense & Security Report – Annual Review, 2011

Election politics and considerations dominated the year 2011 for Taiwan in almost every conceivable way. The January 14, 2012 Presidential/Legislative Yuan (parliamentary) elections were watched not without some anxiety by interested entities well beyond Taipei. Indeed, some of the actions taken by Washington and Beijing during the past year, and in the lead-up to the elections, may even suggest the emergence of a preliminary consensus – if not yet a new paradigm – for managing the complex and often sensitive U.S.-Taiwan-China strategic relationship.

As these critical elections were successfully concluded within two weeks of the end of 2011, this report will try to analyze their results in the context of the traditional defense and security focus of this annual review. The report will also provide an overview of the significant political, cross-Strait, and defense developments during 2011, which should perhaps offer some helpful indications as we look for factors that could influence key defense and national security policy developments during the next four years.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-defense-security-report-annual-review-2011/

Taiwan Defense & Security Report – Q3, 2011

The third quarter of 2011 ended with the long-awaited – as well as repeatedly and seriously delayed – U.S. Government decision on the sale of F-16 fighters to Taiwan. More precisely, the U.S. government notified to Congress its intention to provide to Taiwan a major package of mid-life modernization for its existing F-16A/B fighters – argued by the Obama Administration as being a better option than the sale of replacement F-16C/D fighters.

The U.S. side insists that they have not ruled out selling a new tranche of F-16s to replace aging equipment, and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has renewed calls for the new buy. Nevertheless, the controversial Obama Administration decision spoke volumes of the complex three-way dynamic between Washington, Taipei, and Beijing, and may herald a new reality that could soon confront Taiwan’s national security establishment.

In the meantime, everything related to Taiwan – including defense issues and cross-Strait relations – continues to take a backseat to, and merely serve as backdrop for, the campaigns ahead of the next joint presidential/legislative elections scheduled for January 14, 2012. In the presidential race, incumbent Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) faces opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen in what will be a hotly contested and close race. The addition of Peoples First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong to the contest adds a complicating factor for both candidates – but particularly for President Ma.

This quarterly analysis report provides a brief overview of significant developments in Taiwan during the past three months, and examines some of the factors that influenced the course of events during the third quarter of 2011. In addition to examining the current political environment in Taiwan, the report will look at defense policy, budget, and procurement issues. It will also provide an update on U.S.-Taiwan defense relations, and a look at the current status of select programs.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-defense-security-report-q3-2011/

Taiwan Defense & Security Report – Q2, 2011

Preparations for and campaigning ahead of the upcoming Presidential and Legislative Yuan (LY) elections, which will both take place in January 2012, continued to dominate the Taiwan political environment through the second quarter of 2011. The elections will likely continue to affect the political and economic environment in Taiwan through the remainder of the year.

Defense and national security issues have so far not been central to the election calculus. As presidential election politics intensify, however, greater attention could be focused on President Ma Ying-jeou’s overall record on cross-Strait relations and national defense, and how these policy arenas relate to the economy, the government’s fiscal health, and wealth distribution under the Ma Administration. This is true to a lesser extent of the legislative elections as well. As the overall impact of President Ma’s first term in office gradually becomes discernible, the outcome of the 2012 elections could increasingly rest on a narrow band of middle voters, whose concerns may include a greater emphasis on defense.

For his part, Mr. Ma is clearly eager to achieve a breakthrough in defense sales before the election, in order to address criticisms that his government has been soft – or even negligent – on defense. However, his efforts at lobbying for U.S. action in the desired direction appear both late and inadequate.

This quarterly report provides a brief overview of significant developments in the past three month, and examines some of the factors that influenced the course of events in Taiwan during the second quarter of 2011.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-defense-security-report-q2-2011/

Taiwan Defense & Security Report – Q1, 2011

The first quarter of 2011 witnessed the beginnings of the campaign season ahead of Taiwan’s 2012 presidential and legislative elections. Many of the political, cross-Strait, and other policy dynamics during the coming year can be expected to center around this theme. In particular, Taiwan’s 2012 presidential election and its potential impact on the cross-Strait dynamic will be the subject of considerable interest to analysts and policy makers in Taipei, in Beijing, and in Washington, D.C.

Over the past three years, the Ma Ying-jeou Administration’s record on fulfilling its declaratory commitment to Taiwan’s national defense has been lackluster. Whether and/or how this issue might play into the 2012 election also deserves close attention, as President Ma has long been sensitive to accusations – especially by U.S. officials or prominent observers – that he or his government is soft on defense.

This quarterly report provides a brief overview of significant developments in the past few months, examining some of the factors that influenced the course of events during the first quarter of 2011. It will provide an update on Taiwan’s political environment and cross-Strait relations, and offer a discussion on the defense budget and on Taiwan’s move to a volunteer force. In addition, the report will examine U.S.-Taiwan defense relations and the progress (or lack thereof) of select Taiwan arms procurement programs.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-defense-security-report-q1-2011/

Taiwan Defense & Security Report – Annual Review, 2010

2010 could prove to be a defining year in the history of Taiwan’s relationship with China. The two sides signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), a preferential trade agreement, in June, and have been working to continue to expand bilateral trade and cooperation since. Just like the two sides of the Taiwan Strait look to deepening and further broadening their ties, Washington and Beijing are also seriously pursuing mutually beneficial common grounds in their complex tangle of global strategic interests.

Marking the midway point of President Ma Ying-jeou’s four-year term, events in 2010 also prepared the political landscape for the fierce battles ahead in the lead-up to the next presidential election in March 2012. The economy, jobs, partisan unity, cross-Strait dynamics, and U.S.-Taiwan relations will all figure prominently in the 2012 campaigns.

However, issues concerning Taiwan’s defense and national security have not received as much attention as they probably should have so far under the Ma Administration. With much of his defense agenda facing serious challenges, and civil-military relations still rather frosty, President Ma’s record on defense could prove to be a major potential vulnerability as he heads into the 2012 presidential race.

This report provides a brief overview of significant developments in the past year, and examines some of the factors that influenced the course of events during 2010. It will also provide a brief update on the defense budget, on U.S.-Taiwan defense relations, and on the progress of select Taiwan arms procurement programs.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ustaiwandefense.com/taiwan-defense-security-report-annual-review-2010/

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