HomeCategoryMilitary Archives - Taiwan Report

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As threats of military aggression from China grow, the island nation of Taiwan needs a credible military deterrent more than ever. But Taiwan’s military is in a crisis it can barely admit exists. Even as the military refits itself with flashy U.S. arms purchases, such as M1 Abrams tanks and F-16V fighter jets, its front-line units are hollowed out, and the entire reserve system is so dysfunctional that few experts or serving military personnel believe...

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TAIPEI (Reuters) – Three U.S. Air Force planes, including two B-52 bombers, flew near Taiwan on Wednesday, the island’s defense ministry said, after Taiwan’s air force scrambled earlier in the week to intercept Chinese jets. … Speaking in Singapore, a senior U.S. State Department official, Clarke Cooper, referred to the Chinese flights and told CNBC it was “completely inappropriate of China to take such an aggressive act.” “That aggressive act is not just a reflection...

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Michael Turton (麥哲恩) is back from vacation, and he and co-host Courtney Donovan Smith (石東文) bring a wide-ranging show. The government responds well to the Wuhan coronavirus, a few comments on the KMT chair race and the Han recall campaign looks like it will have enough signatures to trigger a recall election by Feb 16. The New Taipei City government is making it harder for the government to decommission the Chinshan Nuclear Plant. The information...

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Michael Turton (麥哲恩) is back from vacation, and he and co-host Courtney Donovan Smith (石東文) bring a wide-ranging show. The government responds well to the Wuhan coronavirus, a few comments on the KMT chair race and the Han recall campaign looks like it will have enough signatures to trigger a recall election by Feb 16. The New Taipei City government is making it harder for the government to decommission the Chinshan Nuclear Plant. The information...

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For years prominent commentator (and my co-host on Current Affairs Taiwan) Michael Turton has pointed out that both the carrots and the sticks employed by the PRC are intended to portray itself as the victim.  In their framing, in spite of all their peaceful efforts and generous offers to Taiwan “compatriots”, stubborn Taiwan “secessionists” colluding with the US continue to be ungrateful.  They generally portray these “secessionists” as being a minority trampling on the wishes...

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China reportedly has received its second set of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia, marking a potentially major improvement of the country’s air-defenses. During wartime, Chinese S-400s, in theory, could shoot down Taiwanese fighters while they’re taking off. That danger has compelled Taiwan to develop missiles that can strike the S-400 batteries. Russia began shipping S-400 components to China via sea in July 2019. The final shipment occured in December 2019, TASS news agency reported....

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Taiwan reportedly has solved a problem that has prevented the island country from developing its own medium-altitude attack drones. In signing a deal with an Australian company to provide American-designed engines, Taipei has assembled all the basic components it needs to develop a killer drone in the class of the U.S. MQ-9. Taiwan’s Chinese Academy of Sciences in April 2018 conducted the first test flight of the Teng Yun unmanned aerial vehicle. A propeller-driven, medium-altitude...

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) won re-election on January 11, 2020, with domestic and foreign expectations for Taiwan to be stronger in the interests of its people. A stronger Taiwan also enables it to contribute as an important economic and security partner of the United States and other democracies. Contrary to conventional wisdom that her second inauguration on May 20 will bring changes to personnel, it behooves Tsai to decide on Taiwan’s national security leadership much...

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The victory of incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan’s presidential elections on Jan. 11 represents a resounding repudiation of Beijing’s increasing pressure on Taiwan. But with attempts to politically subvert Taiwan frustrated, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now far more likely to turn to forced unification via military means. Although it’s always difficult to distinguish rhetoric from intention, the Chinese press has stepped up war talk. Tackling this means rethinking Taiwan’s approach to its...

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… US military sales to Taiwan are a force for stability and a catalyst for cross-Strait dialogue, allowing Taipei to negotiate with Beijing “without a gun to their heads”, said a recently departed senior US defence official and prime architect of the US Indo-Pacific strategy. “Our arms sales actually have a very good track record of promoting cross-Strait dialogue,” said Randall Schriver, chairman of the Project 2049 Institute, a security-focused think tank, who left his...