Tue, Dec 23, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Cabinet releases analysis of China's military threat

LOOKING AT 2010 Defense analysts are expecting a volatile national security situation across the Taiwan Strait for the next decade, according to a new report

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

While China is beefing up its armed might against Taiwan and the military imbalance across the Taiwan Strait is gradually tilting in Beijing's favor, it remains to be seen whether the US will lean toward the PRC in terms of its military strategy in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010, according to a national defense report released yesterday.

"The situation of the country's national security will be volatile for the next decade," Chung Chien (鍾堅), a professor at the Military College of the National Defense University, says in an article entitled "A national defense policy of intimidation and defense," which is included in the report.

A series of papers make up the 611-page report, Taiwan in 2010, which was released by the Cabi-net's Research, Development and Evaluation Commission yesterday.

Citing a report on China's military power released by the US Department of Defense in July last year, Chung said that the operational theory of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has shifted from predominantly annihilative to coercive war strategies.

"PLA strategists consider shock and surprise as crucial to successful coercion," Chung said, adding that the strategy is best illustrated in the fundamental principles of "actively taking the initiative" and "catching the enemy unprepared," which form part of the PLA's operational doctrine.

"`Actively taking the initiative' stresses the necessity of attacking at the optimal place and time to catch the enemy unprepared. `Catching the enemy unprepared' emphasizes the role of concealment of intentions and capabilities through camouflage, deception, feints and the use of stratagems to allow a relatively small amount of force to dominate the enemy through surprise," he said.

"With no apparent political pro-hibitions on pre-emption, the PLA requires shock as a force multiplier to catch Taiwan or another potential adversary, such as the US, unprepared," he said.

To effectively counter the PLA's coercive strategies, Chung said that the government should educate the public about civil defense and upgrade military forces' joint combat readiness while the US' military strategy in the Asia-Pacific region remains unpredictable.

Factors affecting national security for the next 10 years could include the quality of military forces; the command, control, communication and contact mechanisms of the armed forces; the arsenal of military forces; training; logistics; and military strategy.

"If we want to strengthen our national security, we need to particularly improve the tenacity of the military forces, increase our weaponry procurement budget and make our own strategy plans, instead of letting them be manipulated by the US," Chung said.

The commission yesterday also published another book, Government restructuring, and plans to release two more, Evaluation report on government efficiency and E-Government, on Jan. 20 and Knowledge-based government by the end of February.

The series of publications is a compilation of research papers and study projects commissioned by the commission over the past three years. The commission has also launched a Chinese/English Web site about government restructuring, http://www.reform.nat.gov.tw.

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