Through the second quarter of 2010, the primary focus in Taiwan has been on the trade pact with China. Known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), this is widely considered to be the single most important achievement for the Ma Ying-jeou administration during its first term. The ECFA may have broad-ranging implications – political as well as economic – for years to come. In conjunction with an improving economy, this significant milestone has certainly begun to help President Ma regain some of the popularity he lost since he took office in 2008.
The details of Taiwan’s defense and national security agenda for the next two years remains shrouded, although there are indications that the Ma Administration has begun to contemplate new defense procurement plans – possibly as part of an overall plan to ready Taiwan for eventual political dialogue with China.
This quarterly report provides a brief overview of significant developments during the past three months, and examines some of the factors that influenced the course of events during this period. The report will also cover implications for adding disaster relief to the core mission focus for the Ministry of National Defense (MND), along with a brief look at the status of select programs.