Gov’t reviews cross-strait policy after power transfer in mainland


TAIPEI–Taiwan is reviewing its China policy, particularly on the national defense front, after the world’s most populous country completed its once-in-a-decade leadership transition earlier this month.

A special investigation task force under the Control Yuan, the government’s top watchdog agency, recently issued a report on Taiwan’s national defense strategy and measures. It stated that Taiwan should not ignore its national defense amid the peaceful development of ties across the Taiwan Strait.

The report said that launching a war is not in the interest of people on the two sides of the strait and “peace” and “rapprochement” are therefore the main theme of Taiwan’s national security strategy.

In pursuit of peace and rapprochement, Taiwan has an absolute need to build its own defense power and ensure its independent sovereignty, the report noted.

It said that since there are huge gaps between Taiwan and China in terms of land, population and economy, Taiwan’s national defense strategy is not aimed at competing militarily with China, but improving the quality of the military to produce an effective deterrence against China.

The task force said that given Taiwan’s tight government finances, limited national resources and the government’s plan to soon implement an all-voluntary military service, the government should gauge its real need for military deployment by taking into consideration its human, land and other resources.

The government should also keep in mind the principle of efficiency and efficacy while negotiating for arms procurement deals and has to avoid waste of resources and prevent weapons from sitting idle.

Meanwhile, Guo Rui-hua, a research fellow with Prospect and Exploration monthly journal, said Friday at a forum that although more officials familiar with Taiwan affairs have been involved in the new round of China’s government personnel changes, Taiwan cannot pin high hopes on them because their knowledge about Taiwan does not mean they are friendly toward Taiwan.

Guo said that China’s policy-making toward Taiwan is dominated by those who hold military power and that the Communist China’s long term goal is realizing its national unification, maintaining its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Therefore, China will deem preventing Taiwan from moving towards independence and promoting unification with Taiwan as its most important national interest.

Guo noted that whether China’s new leader Xi Jinping will fully take control of its armed forces will be the focus of global observations.