The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) released its defense policy paper yesterday, proposing to establish a cyberarmy as the fourth branch of the armed forces, along with focused investment and government support to develop the nation’s defense industry.
Other key recommendations in the 2015 Defense Policy Blue Paper include nurturing companies for the government’s indigenous submarine plan, merging the Veterans Affairs Council with the Ministry of National Defense and reassessing the all-volunteer military program.
DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said the nation needs to set up a cyberarmy to combat the daily “digital warfare” seen in cyberattacks from China.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The DPP’s Defense Policy Advisory Committee proposed establishing a cyberarmy by recruiting cybersecurity experts and young computer professionals, with an initial budget of NT$1 billion (US$32.56 million) and a “Cyberarmy Command Headquarters Office” that would integrate the functions and resources from the defense ministry’s “communications electronics and information,” “military intelligence and surveillance,” “digital warfare command” and “communications development” offices.
The party said the new branch would have commissioned officers and a command structure similar to the army’s, with active service obligations and benefits in line with the current branches.
Asked about the DPP’s proposal, defense ministry officials said the National Security Act (國家安全法) could be amended to enable existing units of the armed forces to defend the nation’s digital territory.
They also said that the military has in recent years adjusted its resources and recruiting to attract computing and electronic communications staff to enhance the nation’s overall cybersecurity, while the military employs cyberattack simulations during its digital warfare exercises.
Committee convener York Chen (陳文政) said the nation has the talent in science and engineering to obtain the technical know-how to advance toward the goal of a self-sufficient defense industry.
“An indigenous defense industry has a positive strategic impact on bolstering public confidence in, and support of, national defense,” the policy paper says.
DPP officials said Taiwan faces increasing difficulty in obtaining foreign arms because of China.
The policy paper says the government should seek international cooperation with its allies on new technologies so that it could eventually produce and maintain most of its weaponry and equipment.
It also says the defense ministry should encourage investment in the capacity for indigenous arms production.
“In the past, Taiwan’s defense ministry officials often headed to the US with shopping lists of weapons and military equipment to buy,” Wu said.
“That was the old approach. In the future, we will go to the US and tell them what our needs are and what are our weaknesses are. We will ask them to assist and upgrade our domestic defense sector in these areas,” he said.
The annual budget of the defense ministry should be stabilized at 3 percent of Taiwan’s GDP, Wu said.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
Beijing is to ease a ban on foreign airlines starting on Monday next week, changing course one day after the administration of US President Donald Trump demanded that China reopen to US airlines or face curbs on its own carriers flying passengers to the US. Foreign airlines excluded from an earlier pact would be able to operate one commercial passenger flight to China per week, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration said. It did not name any countries or carriers, but the move opens up a chance for US airlines to return for the first time in four months. While the timing might