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1990년대 냉전의 종식을 계기로 대만은 국공내전 이후 계속되었던 중국과의 체제 경쟁을 중단하고, 본격적인 양안 대화와 교류, 협력의 시대로 진입했다. 동시에 대만은 중국의 급속한 군사력 현대화에 맞서기 위한 방위 능력의 유지 및 확보에도 주력하였다. 이러한 대내외적 요인들은 대만의 국방전략 수립, 실행에서 결정적인 비중을 차지했다. 리덩후이 정부(1988~2000년)는 중국 영토에 대한 공격을 배제하고, 대만해협과 연안에서 중국의 침공을 격퇴, 섬멸하는 '수세방위' 전략을 채택했다. 대만 역사상 최초의 수평적 정권교체로 집권한 천수이볜 정부(2000~2008년)는 분리 독립 노선을 뒷받침하기 위해 중국의 군사 위협을 대만 영토 외부에서, 결정적으로 제압할 수 있도록 중국 영토에 대한 보복, 반격까지 포함하는 '경외결전' 전략을 추구했다. 그리고 마잉주 정부(2008년~현재)는 중국과의 교류, 협력의 확대 및 심화를 통해 양안관계의 안정, 발전을 추구하는 현상유지 지향적인 양안 정책을 반영하고, 양안 군사력의 균형이 중국의 우위로 역전된 상황에서 대만의 안보를 수호하기 위한 국방전략으로 '고약반석' 전략을 제시했다.


The end of the Cold War in 1990s paved the way for Taiwan to begin cross-strait dialogue, exchange and cooperation with China, ending a 40-year-old ideological antagonism from the defeat in Chinese Civil War. At the same time, Taiwan also had to make efforts on maintaining and bolstering defense capabilities to cope with growing security threats, mainly by China’s rapid military modernization. These internal and external factors have made crucial effects on establishing and implementing Taiwan’s defense strategy. Lee Teng-Hui Administration pursued a cross-strait policy favorable on status quo which emphasized Taiwan’s status as ‘an equal political entity with China’, as well as facilitate, institutionalize dialogue and cooperation with China. Meanwhile Lee Teng-Hui Administration believed that Taiwan needed to defeat China’s military threat by establishing a qualitative superiority on naval and air forces, reducing the role of land forces which took a leading role in previous, offensive ‘retaking the mainland’ doctrine. As a result, Lee Teng-Hui Administration’s “defensive-defense” strategy sought to defeat, annihilate China’s invasion at the Taiwan Strait and coastal area, excluding attacks on Chinese territory. Chen Sui-Bian Administration, the first case of horizontal shift of the power by election in Taiwan’s history in 2000, endorsed “decisive offshore battle” strategy, which sought to suppress China’s invasion far away from Taiwanese soil by more active and offensive military options, including counterattack and retaliation against China’s territory. Such an offense-oriented strategy was to give Chen Sui-Bian Administration’s cross-strait policy against status quo which pursued de jure independence of Taiwan and keep cross-strait military balance, which was challenged by China’s expanding ballistic missile arsenal and modernizing naval and air forces against Taiwan. Finally, Ma Ying-Jeou Administration proposed “Hard ROC” strategy. It reflected both the government’s return to a cross-strait policy favorable on status quo by expanding and deepening economic, social exchange and cooperation with China, and need for safeguarding Taiwan’s security under China’s obvious military superiority. Hard ROC strategy was a defense-oriented strategy which emphasized enhanced survivability from China’s first strike, operational endurance and sustainment, supported by limited counterattack and asymmetric maritime denial and interdiction against China, to dissuade China’s attempt to coerce and occupy Taiwan by military forces.