As they begin their second term, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) face a number of challenges in ensuring Taiwan’s defense and national security. Over the next four years, President Chen will seek to consolidate control over the country’s national security and defense establishments, and to implement an ambitious force modernization and defense reform program.
Obstacles in his path include a highly divided domestic polity in which a large segment of the opposition is against significant additional investment into defense, a restrictive international environment that limits Taiwan’s choices for procurement, a weak defense industrial base, and an economy that is becoming increasingly reliant on the mainland for growth.
This quarter’s defense and national security analysis examines the domestic political and economic environments that will help shape the direction of Taiwan’s defense and national security policies. The report will also discuss defense policy issues – including defense and national security leadership transitions and other personnel shifts – as well as defense budget and procurement developments, it will then conclude with a discussion of U.S.-Taiwan defense relations.