Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Defense think tank inaugurated

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

From left, Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR) CEO Lin Cheng-yi, Minister without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng, Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu, President Tsai Ing-wen, National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa and INDSR president Feng Shih-kuan take part in the opening ceremony of the institute in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen, former minister of national defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) and other top officials yesterday in Taipei inaugurated the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research think tank.

Feng is to serve as the institute’s chairman and former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Lin Cheng-yi (林正義) as its chief executive officer.

The institute has seven research departments and one research center, and employs 64 people.

It is tasked with administering research programs and international exchange initiatives, and advising the government on national security, military defense policies and regional security, as well as conducting studies on China’s military and political development.

“Taiwan is facing severe challenges in the international arena, and this underscores the necessity for establishing this think tank,” Tsai told the inauguration ceremony.

The president said she has three expectations of the institute: Helping the government stay on top of national security and strategic developments, recruiting and cultivating talent for research in these fields, and serving as a platform for interaction and collaboration with the outside world.

The institute plans to organize international conferences, and publish regular government reports and research papers, she said.

“We will improve the channels for dialogue with other nations in the region and set up a platform for mutual interaction. By enhancing mutual trust on regional security and strategic issues, we can create more possibilities for collaboration with other nations,” Tsai said.

Feng agreed, saying the institute would be an important mechanism for international collaboration and dialogue.

The institute is to have an annual budget of NT$125 million (US$4.2 million) and is to be based at the former headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense on Boai Road and Gueiyang Street near the Presidential Office Building.

The institute has hired 17 full-time researchers, all with doctorates, along with 17 research assistants, all of whom have international study and work experience, Lin said.

They are proficient in English and other regional languages, including Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian, he said, adding that their security and defense research focus on the nations where these languages are spoken.

The institute is under the auspices of the government and the Legislative Yuan, and is mandated to publish national reports to present to officials and legislators, which includes publications on annual assessments of Taiwan’s national security, advanced military defense technologies and research into the development of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Lin said.

The diplomatic corps of Taiwan’s allies, and representatives of other nations with trade offices and consulates in Taipei also attended the ceremony, including several officials from the American Institute in Taiwan.

Former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, along with executives from prominent security think tanks, including the US’ Center for Strategic and International Studies and the UK’s Royal United Service Institute, also sent pre-recorded messages of congratulations.

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