Having achieved a major milestone in cross-Strait relations over the summer with the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), Taipei has begun to think more seriously about trying to better position itself for the next phase in its dealings with Beijing.
While notable progress continues to be made, China has consistently proven a shrewd and elusive adversary of ambitious (and unwavering) political objectives. Not surprisingly, there are significant uncertainties ahead, not least of which is the political fortune of President Ma Ying-jeou’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party in the upcoming municipality mayoral elections and next year’s parliamentary election, as well as for Mr. Ma’s own re-election in 2012. There are also major challenges on the defense and national security front in the foreseeable future, principally due to, and in the form of, budgetary constraints.
This report will review the major political events that transpired during the third quarter of 2010. It will also discuss the significant defense and national security developments over this period, and will provide a brief update on the progress for select Taiwan arms procurement programs.