Wed, Mar 12, 2014 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Concern over national security staff

With the advent of the global village and globalization, many traditional geographic and political borders have been broken down. Today, events from all corners of the world affect everyone in some way.

Taiwan is a small nation that is dependent on international trade.

The National Security Council (NSC) advises President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on national security issues. In the increasingly interlinked international community, and in particular with regard to the complex China issue, which concerns the survival and future development of the nation, it is important to know that the NSC has a fix on domestic and international issues that could affect national security.

This is a question of unprecedented importance.

As outgoing Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) prepares to take up a position as council secretary-general, there has been much discussion and several opinions formed about the appointment and about King.

There are many who question whether the appointment is legal and constitutional. There is no need for such uncertainty because the law is clear, and if certain lines are crossed, then the appointment should be regarded as illegal and unconstitutional.

At the same time, it is easy to compare senior presidential advisers by their expertise and international experience, and this can help the public evaluate the appropriateness of King’s appointment.

Taiwan has close ties with China, Japan and South Korea. These countries have different systems of constitutional government.

Recent international tension and spats that have occurred over the past few months have caused these three nations to create their own versions of the National Security Council. This has put a spotlight on the council and demonstrates the high degree of importance each nation places on its national security.

Japan’s council — which was enacted and immediately brought into existence in December last year amid threatening behavior from China over sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and Beijing’s announcement of an East China Sea air defense identification zone — set up a direct hotline to the leaders of the UK, the US, South Korea, Russia, Australia and India as part of a drive to improve international collaboration.

The secretariat of the Japanese National Security Council is called the National Security Secretariat, and it will be headed by Shotaro Yachi.

To ensure efficiency, Yachi is to be stationed in the prime minister’s office.

Yachi has held several important positions, including those of Japanese vice minister for foreign affairs and special advisor to the Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and he penned the idea of diplomacy based on the values of democracy and liberty — the “arc of freedom and prosperity.”

The two deputy heads hail from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense, demonstrating the level of expertise it has been deemed necessary to employ.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is no shrinking violet.

She has established a National Security Office as part of a reorganization of the presidential office, the Blue House. The office is to focus mainly on the changing situation on the Korean Peninsula and within Northeast Asia.

With the reorganization, the structure of command has been designed to optimize rapid response capability to a situation very much in flux.

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