Taiwan continues to experience economic distress and ongoing internal political woes. In contrast, Taiwan’s relationship with China continues to show steady improvement, and the long-term prospects seem positive. Against this backdrop, President Ma Ying-jeou has decided to consolidate his influence over the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party. It is a first step towards addressing the major economic and political challenges facing the island, as well as a means to help realize the promises of improved cross-Strait relations.
The outlook for Taiwan’s fiscal performance for the year remains bleak, which could have profound implications for the FY2010 government budget and spell serious trouble for defense spending. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s military begins a process of painful soul-searching, in a campaign to root out corruption.
This report will highlight the significant political and economic developments in Taiwan during the second quarter of 2009. It will also examine the notable defense and national security issues during the past three months, and offer updates on select weapons procurement programs.