ABSTRACT

During the Cold War, Taiwan military took a leading role for both Kuomintang-Chiang Kai-Shek regime’s “Recapturing the mainland” policy against China and authoritarian rule in Taiwan’s domestic politics. Since 1970s, however, diplomatic isolation of Taiwan came to worse, and Taiwan became more liberal and democratic after the late 1980s. These political and social changes offered reasonable causes for defense reform in Taiwan. As a result, since 1990s, Taiwan launched a series of defense reform focused on defense strategy, military force structure and defense organization. Taiwan’s traditional offense-oriented military strategy for “Recapturing the mainland” was replaced by defense-oriented military strategy to defend Taiwan. Taiwan also began to adopt a military force structure suitable for rapid response, including more sophisticated navy and air force. And Taiwan institutionalized the principle of political neutrality and civilian control to military by the enactment of Two Defense Laws in 2000. However Taiwan’s recent efforts for defense investment have been hugely disturbed by limited opportunity for weapon procurement and decreasing military spending. Such problems are posing major challenges for Taiwan’s defense reform, including efforts to maintain and bolster Taiwan’s defense posture against military threat from China.

KEYWORD

Taiwan’s political and military affairs, Defense reform, Military strategy, Military force structure, Civilian control, Two Defense Laws

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