Passage by the legislature of the Defense Law (國防法) finally con-fers on the military both legal status and governmental accountability.
This replaces decades of existence under organizational laws and executive orders without legislative basis.
Significantly, this and other laws and amendments passed will for the first time place the military structure under civilian control and, as a result, make it more accountable to the government.
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
Lawmakers also passed major revisions to the Defense Ministry Organizational Law (
Also passed were five laws mandating the establishment of a Coast Guard Administration (
The Defense Law features a clear description, in Article 8, of the relationship between the minister of national defense and the chief of the general staff: "The president passes orders down (
In the original version of the law, the president did not "pass down" but "gave" orders to the defense minister, who was then to pass them down to the chief of the general staff.
This change in wording is expected to ensure that the defense minister has the power to order the chief of the general staff to act as ordered by the president. It also indicates the possibility that the defense minister may choose to reject orders from the president under certain circumstances.
The Defense Law also establishes the main framework for the country's defense system, which will comprise the president, the National Security Council, the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of National Defense in a top-down model.
In Article 12 of the law, the defense minister is described as a "civilian," which is generally considered to mean future ministers will not be drawn from the military hierarchy.
The passage of revisions to the Defense Ministry Organization Law also marks a revolution in military organization, whose administrative and executive arms have long operated separately, as there was no clear legal formulation of their respective functions or status.
In the revised law, the current executive arm as represented by the chief of the general staff and his staff offices is placed directly under the control of the defense minister.
Until now, the chief of the general staff has always been higher in status than the minister, and has been more powerful, holding the power to command troops under orders directly from the president.
This imbalance in the military power structure, however, has effectively been removed with the chief of the general staff being clearly designated as a member of the defense minister's staff.
In practice, however, the chief of the general staff will have command of the troops, since the defense minister is expected to delegate such powers, freeing himself to concentrate on administrative affairs, a defense official said yesterday.
In like manner, the chief of the general staff will also delegate certain portions of his command to the heads of the army, air force, navy and other services, the official said.
Such a practice will not totally separate the administrative and executive systems, the official said, but at least the defense minister will be empowered within the executive system under his control, a power which has long been denied him.
Two Japanese virtual YouTubers (VTubers) were suspended by their employers on Sunday after mentioning Taiwan and showing the national flag during a livestream, stoking controversy that was inflamed further when it was discovered that their management company issued distinct apologies in Japanese and Mandarin. While reading YouTube analytics over livestream on Thursday and Friday last week, Hololive VTubers Kiryu Coco and Akai Haato named Taiwan as contributing a high percentage of viewers. Users on the Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili were quick to criticize the two and report their accounts, prompting Hololive’s parent company, Cover Corp, to suspend the streamers for three
NO SIGN OF WAR: Only if Taiwanese showed determination to defend the nation would others be willing to help in the event of a Chinese attack, the premier said Should China launch a war against Taiwan, the military would fight to the last standing person, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday, adding that the nation has fully fleshed-out defense strategies. “Beijing has continued its acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs that it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Yen said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Asked how long Taiwan could withstand an attack from China, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said: “Taiwan will not fall.” Any belligerent force that initiates acts of war would pay a heavy price, and so too would Beijing,
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
MOTHERLAND? Taiwanese who take part in China’s National Day celebrations could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 if found to have contravened Taiwanese laws The Ministry of Culture yesterday cautioned China-based Taiwanese artists against breaching Taiwanese law by taking part in China’s National Day celebrations. The ministry issued the statement following media reports that Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) is to sing a popular Chinese patriotic song titled My Motherland (我的祖國), and Angela Chang (張韶涵) is to sing Protect (守護) with Chinese entertainers at an event to mark China’s National Day on Thursday. The Mainland Affairs Council is investigating whether such behavior contravenes regulations in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the ministry said. If the behavior involves matters