Wed, Nov 21, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Support from allies prerequisite for victory: institute

LOBBYING:The Institute of National Defense and Security is to hold talks with foreign think tanks on Taiwan’s defense principles and outlook

By Aaron Tu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Institute for National Defense and Security Research chief executive Lin Cheng-yi attends a question-and-answer session of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Monday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

While military strength is the most important factor in the nation’s self-defense, support from friendly nations remains a prerequisite for victory, Institute of National Defense and Security chief executive Lin Cheng-yi (林正義) said on Monday.

“Taiwan’s security is in our hands, but we do not have it 100 percent. We need the support of like-minded nations in the region,” Lin said while presenting a report to the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) asked Lin to comment on the nation’s military preparedness, after citing the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies as saying that Taiwan could fend off the Chinese People’s Liberation Army on its own.

Lin said he has over the past six months visited Chiashan Air Base in Hualien County several times and found the nation’s “Arizona-trained” F-16 pilots among the best in the world.

Taiwanese F-16 pilots have been receiving training at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix, Arizona.

“The air force and the navy have been doing everything within their power to increase combat readiness,” he said. “While certain information cannot be disclosed, the public should be relieved by the military’s capability to track Chinese air and naval activities to the nation’s east.”

The institute’s main functions are policy research, communication with strategic partners, international dialogue and professional training, it said in the report.

Conferences with foreign think tanks are planned to convey Taiwan’s national defense principles to other nations in the Asia-Pacific region and lobby for their support for the nation’s policies, it said.

The institute is to hold smaller conferences on Taiwan’s defense outlook, but not on a regular basis, it said.

Retired generals, academics and experts from the US, France, Japan, Australia and other nations have attended institute events since its founding in May, and institute staff are to attended a security conference in Berlin at the end of the month, it said.

Last month, the Ministry of National Defense sent four military and civilian personnel to the institute to begin a one-year program, while officers with the rank of colonel or equivalent are routinely sent for short-term programs, it said.

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