Mon, Oct 07, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Top officials in US for defense industry forum

RESPONSE STRATEGIES:Items on the agenda of the 18th annual conference include the various threats that Taiwan faces and its future defense forces

By Aaron Tu and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Cybersecurity, disinformation and the evolution of Taiwan’s Overall Defense Concept (ODC) are among the items on the agenda for this year’s US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, which gets under way today in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Taiwan’s delegation to the meeting at the Turf Valley Resort, headed by Vice Minister of National Defense Chang Guan-chung (張冠群), includes National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General York Chen (陳文政), Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) and Jason Hsu (許毓仁).

Wang is a coconvener of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, ofwhich Chiang is a member, while Hsu is a member of the Internal Administration Committee.

The conferences focus on the future of US defense cooperation with Taiwan, the defense procurement process and Taiwan’s defense and national security needs.

While the conference is listed as running from yesterday to tomorrow, no sessions were scheduled for yesterday, just registration of delegates and an evening reception, with the bulk of the presentations set for today and tomorrow morning.

Chang is scheduled to givekeynote address this morning, an agenda posted on the conference’s Web site showed.

US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs David Helvey is to give a keynote address during dinner today, an anonymous source said.

Other scheduled speakers and panel moderators include American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty, Taiwan Security Analysis Center Director Mei Fu-shing (梅復興), former vice minister of national defense Richard Chen (陳永康), Project 2049 Institute research fellow Ian Easton, and International Assessment and Strategy Center senior fellow Richard Fisher Jr.

This year’s conference is divided into five sessions: the future and evolution of Taiwan’s ODC; countering the threat: low to medium; countering the threat: medium to high; countering the threat: all-out war; and Taiwan’s future force, according to the conference Web site.

The first session would look “at what emerging technologies may mean for the concept, and how changes to funding, force structure, and available equipment may affect Taiwan’s ODC plans,” the US-Taiwan Business Council said.

Speakers are to “discuss how a sharp conflict may develop and escalate, and will consider the most likely assault vectors,” it said.

“We will also examine potential Taiwan response strategies and tactics, and the role that the US and other Taiwan allies may play,” it said.

The first, second and third sessions are scheduled for today, with the fourth and fifth tomorrow morning.

In the fifth session, panelists are to “discuss how changes to a variety of factors ... can affect Taiwan’s military readiness, and how to meet those challenges,” the council said.

Additional reporting by Diane Baker

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