An Examination Of Taiwanese Defence Policy Politics Essay

The Taiwan Strait is the venue of one of the universe ‘s most unsafe flash points. Two entities portion the name of “ China ” : one, the People ‘s Republic of China ( PRC ) the most thickly settled state in the universe, is a immense and alone loanblend of Communist political orientation and capitalist appetency, while the other, the Republic of China ( ROC ) or Taiwan is a bantam island democracy of great wealth and unsure international position. And across the narrow barrier of the Taiwan Strait, these two powers stare at each other. For the leading in Beijing, Taiwan is a rebellious state whose ultimate fate must be political and economic fusion with the mainland. In Taipei, meanwhile, the Taiwan authorities neither races toward reunion nor utterly forswears it but embraces alternatively an uneasy position quo.[ 1 ]

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Both sides manage a delicate reconciliation act, beguiling grant and confrontation, endeavoring to progress their several places in the face of their common misgiving. Neither side seems dying to fall back to weaponries to decide the inquiry of Taiwan ‘s position one time and for all, but both are cognizant that such confrontation could come to go through. Indeed, Beijing has a disquieting inclination to rattle its might on those occasions when Taiwan behaves in ways the Communist leading happen finds violative.[ 2 ]

With such scenario, Taiwan faces a figure of dashing security challenges in the political, economic, diplomatic, and military kingdom.[ 3 ]While Taiwan experiences increasing international isolation and diminishing diplomatic clout, China continues to asseverate greater influence in the Asia-Pacific part and around the Earth. Taiwan therefore finds it more and more hard to accomplish meaningful engagement in international organisations and support its docket abroad, as traditional friends and Alliess of Taiwan are loth to overtly anger China. Weaponries gross revenues to Taiwan, particularly by its closest ally the United States ( U.S ) , are an progressively sensitive issue, despite the legal duties of the U.S under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

The Chinese Ministry of National Defence ( MND ) must content with many pressing security and military challenges. Although the recent cross-Strait political clime has improved, PRC has firm refused to abdicate the usage of force against Taiwan while switching the cross-Strait military balance in its favor. At the same clip, the absence of a common defense mechanism pact with the U.S signifies that Taiwan can non readily presume that the U.S or other histrions would come to its defense mechanism if an enemy attacks the island. Chinese defense mechanism contrivers must hence keep the ability to establish an independent defense mechanism. They must besides fix for the possible eventuality of organizing or fall ining an ad hoc alliance during a wartime scenario. Even if the U.S decided to come to Taiwan ‘s assistance in the event of a struggle, non merely are American military assets and resources progressively strained, but many analysts besides argue that U.S power projection capablenesss are decreasing as compared to the Chinese military as China ‘s anti-access denial capablenesss have grown.

The turning away of a possible war and the creative activity of a secure and stable environment in the country of the Taiwan Strait are the chief aims of Chinese national defense mechanism policy. A cardinal factor of carry throughing this aim is the care of a instead big military constitution. In a proportion to its population, Taiwan still maintains a big military constitution, irrespective the fact that Taiwan ‘s armed forces were reduced as portion of a reform enterprise from 1997 to 2001, traveling from approximately 450,000 to 385,000, with farther decreases since so conveying the entire force degree down to merely under 300,000.[ 4 ]

Taiwan Constitution defines the state ‘s defense mechanism aim as the safeguarding of national security and the saving of universe peace. Consequently, the size, schemes and aims of Taiwan ‘s military forces are specifically designed to forestall struggle.[ 5 ]Taiwan ‘s current defense mechanism policy is to construct a rock-solid military to forestall war, defend the fatherland, respond to eventualities, avoid struggle and maintain regional stableness. The paramount end is to guarantee a resolute defense mechanism and effectual disincentive. Give a history of military crises with mainland China, Taiwan has made the care of a cross-strait military balance a precedence. To accomplish this, the state has been beef uping its defense mechanism forces and heightening its counter-attack capableness. In add-on, Taiwan has called for regional security cooperation and the constitution of confidence-building steps with PRC to continue peace.

China ‘s scheme toward Taiwan is in the chief political, non military. China relies on the military menace as portion of a broader political scheme. It has signalled its willingness for the two sides to travel frontward in concerted moves on concrete countries of policy without Taiwan ‘s entire resignation on the issue of its position. China is besides traveling more toward handling Taiwan as an equal, at least in negociating footings if non in formal legal footings This place is reflected in China China ‘s preparation that the “ mainland and Taiwan are parts of one China ” , a phrase intended to step back from China ‘s earlier place that Taiwan is a state of China.



Over the past six decennaries, the two societies on either side of the Taiwan Strait and dealingss between them have undergone momentous transmutation. In 1949, under the onslaught of Chinese Communist Party-led Rebels, the ROC authorities led by the Kuomintang relocated to the island state of Taiwan to progress the ideals on which the Republic was founded. Since so, the two individually governed districts have developed in different waies politically and economically: The ROC has become a booming democracy with an advanced free-market system, while mainland China, though bit by bit following free-market mechanisms, remains autocratic.[ 6 ]

Due to such state of affairs, of all time since the Korean War in the early 1950s, the U.S military aid has been one of the most of import elements which prevented Taiwan from being swallowed by PRC ‘s diplomatic choking and military bullying.[ 7 ]The continued U.S weaponries gross revenues to Taiwan after its diplomatic acknowledgment of the PRC became even more of import as it provides a alone official linkage between U.S and Taiwan. However, Taiwan has ne’er been assured that it would be able to get desired arms system from the U.S. The sense of insecurity has made Taiwan in a changeless province of uncertainness in its military procurance policy. Furthermore, political restraints in U.S weaponries gross revenues to Taiwan hold made it about impossible for Taiwan ‘s military leaders to carry on long-run defense mechanism policy and planning.

Some perceivers have argued that the PRC ‘s unsuccessful war against the Vietnam in 1979 ringed the first wake up call for the PRC ‘s monolithic defense mechanism modernization attempts. In the same twelvemonth, U.S ‘s de-recognition of the ROC besides evoked in Taiwan an pressing desire to keep a strong and autonomous defense mechanism capableness after the expiration of the U.S-ROC Mutual Defence Treaty. Since so, Taiwan has devoted most of its resources in modernizing defense mechanism capableness with the focal point on acquisition of advanced arms systems to replace the state ‘s unequal and disused military hardware.

Politically, despite the recent moderation of cross-strait tensenesss, PRC has still non abdicate the usage of force against Taiwan, and remains the major military menace to the ROC. Mainland China ‘s military enlargement in recent decennaries, propelled by double-digit one-year growing in military outgos, which many believed greatly exceeds its defense mechanism demands, has given rise to widespread scruples about its purpose in Taiwan and around the universe. Much of mainland China ‘s military build-up and many of its military exercisings are designed with a war against Taiwan in head. The most touchable grounds of this is the deployment along the mainland ‘s southeast seashore of over 1,300 missiles aimed at the island. The PRC has implemented a three-pronged practical warfare scheme that aims to corrupt the ROC military, to intimidate and seed dissent among the Chinese people and to sham a legal footing for a war against Taiwan.

While dealingss between Taiwan and the PRC have improved over the past twelvemonth, tensenesss remain, and unsolved issues sing Taiwan ‘s sovereignty and position continue to split the two sides. The position of Taiwan creates a potentially unsafe state of affairs that risks armed struggle if the relationship and its built-in tensenesss are non managed carefully by both sides. An armed struggle between PRC and Taiwan would impair security environment in the part and beyond. Therefore, this research will try turn out that despite the improved dealingss between the two states, Taiwan ‘s defense mechanism policy would still underscore on the demand to modernize its military, and, that mainland China would non stir with its one-China policy and Taiwan ‘s military modernization. The research will besides try to turn out that despite holding a important function in act uponing Taiwan ‘s defense mechanism policy, the U.S. have other involvements to cut down the Taiwan Strait tensenesss.

1.3 Aim

The progressively serious state of affairs between the PRC and Taiwan has emerged for several closely inter-related grounds. Since at least the mid 1990s, the PRC has sought to discourage what it perceives as Taiwan ‘s hunt for independency by ( I ) prosecuting in military shows designed in portion to intimidate the Taiwan population, and ( two ) by and large increasing the credibleness of the Chinese menace of force through the acquisition of powerful arms systems able to back up a assortment of armed actions against Taiwan. The PRC besides attempted to coerce the U.S to cut down its military aid to Taiwan, allegedly to cut down Taiwan ‘s willingness to seek independency and to bring on it to come in into reunion negotiations with the PRC.

These PRC actions have prompted Taiwan to bespeak that the U.S provide larger sum of more advanced and powerful arms and related support systems to Taiwan, to keep Taiwan ‘s ability to counter turning PRC military force per unit area and thereby remain free from political coercion, and to discourage a PRC onslaught. Hence, such development has raised several BASICs but critical inquiries. Among others, can Taiwan self-defend with such defense mechanism policy? Will the U.S and other Alliess come to Taiwan ‘s assistance when the demand arises? Will the two China allow widespread armed struggle? These are some of the inquiries that will be addressed through the undermentioned aims:

1.3.1 To analyze and analyze the background of the cross-strait crisis.

1.3.2 To analyze the principle for Taiwan to hold such defense mechanism policy with respect to the acquisition of advanced and powerful arms.

1.3.3 To analyze the attempts to convey peace and stableness in the Taiwan Strait.


This research adds extended information to the research paradigm of the Taiwan insecurity vis-a-vis the security environment in Northeast Asia, peculiarly in the Taiwan Strait. It may function to supply information for other research workers who may so use it for farther research surveies. This research is relevant as a part to the national and regional security issues in peculiar and strategic surveies in general. The findings could be besides be used as mentions that will supply utile informations for the preparation of schemes to guarantee peace and stableness among states and safeguard the sea-lane of communications ( SLOCs ) in the Taiwan Strait and beyond.


Quite a important figure of literatures by assorted bookmans are available on the Taiwan Strait, the One-China policy and its relevant issues. For the intent of this reappraisal, the literatures used are derived from assorted scholarly plants and will be organized harmonizing to the research inquiries. This will include a reappraisal of relevant plants touching on, among others, the background and influencing factors for Taiwan defense mechanism policy, issues and challenges arise from said policy, and attempts to cut down cross-strait tensenesss and the U.S factor in that part.

This research will be in the context of Taiwan in the station Cold War but can be still be argued to be engulfed in a Cold War security environment. It will research the behavior of provinces, in this case, Taiwan, in continuing its national involvement based on the construct of security by Barry Buzan[ 8 ]which focal point on three multilevel of analysis, that is, the person, provinces and international system. These in bend will be based on the position of related issues and its significance to Taiwan ‘s defense mechanism policy and political-economic-security deductions it affects the part and international community.

Harmonizing to Robert Karniol ( 1998 ) ,[ 9 ]the expiration of the U.S-ROC Mutual Defence Treaty in 1979 has evoked in Taiwan an pressing desire to keep a strong and autonomous defense mechanism capableness. Since so Taiwan has devoted most of its resources in modernizing defense mechanism capableness by replacing its inadequate and disused military hardware with advanced arms. With the procurance of advanced combatant jets, major surface battlers and chief conflict armored combat vehicles, all three services have experienced major ascent to the “ 2nd coevals ” systems.

In the Taiwan ‘s MND Quadrennial Defense Review 2009, a defense mechanism white paper issued every four old ages, highlighted two chief subjects: bar and transmutation. The overall modernization of the state ‘s defense mechanism is a necessity to forestall military struggle in the Taiwan Strait, as it will raise the threshold and the cost for Chinese aggression. This will perplex China ‘s operational programs and can therefore deter possible purposes to utilize force. The papers farther states that transmutation of the armed forces and the national defense mechanism scheme is necessary to enable the military to cover with the altering nature of modern warfare, advanced arms systems, demographic alteration, an ageing society, and limited fiscal resources.

Richard A. Bitzinger ( 1997 )[ 10 ]remarked that China ‘s ability to increase its military force per unit area against Taiwan has grown significantly in the recent old ages because of sustained high Chinese economic growing rate ( as of 2010, PRC has overtaken Japan as the universe ‘s 2nd largest economic power ) , which have resulted in budgets big plenty to let selective modernization of elements of PRC ‘s People ‘s Liberation Army ( PLA ) . Much of the PLA modernization has been focused on get bying with Taiwan, either fiting capablenesss acquired by Taiwan or developing systems specifically for possible usage against Taiwan – such as short-range ballistic missiles with conventional payloads.

While Richard Bush ( 2002 )[ 11 ]touches on the U.S ‘s Taiwan ‘s Relations Act ( TRA ) 1979 which states that the U.S will supply necessary defense mechanism articles and services to Taiwan for its sufficient self-defense, and will see with “ sedate concern ” any non-peaceful agencies to find Taiwan ‘s hereafter. He besides remarked that there is a argument whether the diction on U.S military purposes was clear or equivocal. This is particularly so whether the diction entails the U.S to perpetrate its military in forestalling struggle or aggravations in the part, the U.S military might to support Taiwan and the U.S stance on Taiwan ‘s sovereignty.

This research will be different from other researches in its attack in effort to turn out that despite improved dealingss between China and Taiwan, Taiwan ‘s defense mechanism policy will still underscore on upgrading and modernization of its military, and China will still stand on its one China policy.


There are a figure of restrictions while set abouting this research. Time restraint was the major restriction that limits the research worker from making in deepness survey for the subject. Nevertheless, the research worker considers these restrictions as a challenge that stimulates the spirit and develop the research worker to get the accomplishment of clip direction and research authorship. A


The inaccessibility of literature from the position of effectivity of Taiwan defense mechanism policy vis-a-vis the response or perceptual experiences from mainland China and neighbouring states was another restriction of the research. Most of the literatures were focused on the contents of the pact and the relevance to its sign language. Last, the research worker relied to a great extent on secondary informations, which is considered to be the most dependable source.A


This research is based on qualitative and descriptive analysis which allows the research worker to depict the issues and challenges that Taiwan is confronting, related issues and its impact in the Taiwan Strait, and the function of the U.S in such political and security environments. Facts are collected through secondary informations that will be used as the footing of analysis. The information will be sought from academic diaries, magazines and newspapers, the entree of which are from online and published stuffs. These publishing houses and media both electronics and printed provide competent and dependable information since they release a significant Numberss of academic Hagiographas on the research topic.

A A A A A A Additionally, full usage of several libraries will be made, viz. , the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College Library, the Ministry of Defence Library and University of Malaya Library. All the available informations collected are based on the past and modern-day issues on the Taiwan Strait crisis, factors act uponing Taiwan defense mechanism policy, perspectives on the One-China policy, the U.S factor and its issues and challenges in the part. The usage of these peculiar libraries and web sites is based on the consideration that it provides sufficient stuffs which are accessible, dependable, indispensable and current to finish this research.A

1.8 Chapter OUTLINE

This research is comprised of five chapters. Chapter 1 is an organisational portion which outlines the basic information of this research, including the aims of this research, the significance of the survey, the methodological analysis used and how the information is collected. Importantly, this chapter highlights the job statement and research inquiries that will be answered by analysing Taiwan defense mechanism policy vis-a-vis cross-strait draw and its related issues and challenges.

Chapter 2: will analyze and analyze the background of the cross-strait crisis.

Chapter 3: will analyze the focal point and principle of Taiwan defense mechanism policy.

Chapter 4: will analyze the attempts to convey peace and stableness in the Taiwan Strait.

Chapter 5: The last chapter that provides the decision to the findings of Chapters Two, Three, and Four. The focal point will be on whether enduring peace and stableness will be a world in the Taiwan Strait and whether the PRC will accept Taiwan as a separate entity and a autonomous province.


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