Taiwan’s Quadrennial Defense Review

September 3, 2021 10:24 AM

The following is the recently released 2021 Quadrennial Defense Review of The Republic of China

From the report

Overviewing the current strategic situations, mainland China, aspiring to become an international superpower, is eager to undermine the international order and regional stability. It has been particularly imposing coercive means of verbal intimidation and saber-rattling, intrusion and provocation by aerial and maritime assets, cyberattacks, and cognitive warfare-forcing us to succumb to their will. Amidst the rapid-change external situations with full of severe challenges, the ROC Armed Forces is absolutely responsible for defending Taiwan. Only by improving ourselves and striving forward, accelerating force buildup and focusing on defense reform without fear of any difficulties, can we protect the country by our own strength and create a prosperous future for the nation.<br ?–>The QDR is a guiding document that directs the future development of the ROC Armed Forces. “Striving Forward and Creating a New Prospect” is the motive of the 2021 QDR. The 7 chapters are summarized as follows.

Regional Situation: Monitoring Emerging Security Challenges

  • To ensure the security of the Indo-Pacific region, the United States continues to strengthen cooperation with regional allies. The PRC is trying to grasp the regional dominance, and its military expansion is destabilizing the region.
  • The stalemate hindering the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and sovereignty disputes over the islands in the East China Sea (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) are seen as regional destabilizing factors.
  • The PRC continues to enhance its comprehensive military power and preparation to invade Taiwan, and initiate verbal intimidations and saber-rattling activities by its aerial and maritime assets and manipulating tactics of cognitive warfare.
  • Non-traditional security challenges, such as pandemics and composite disasters, continue impacting on global and our national security and can only be tackled through international cooperation.

2. Strategic Guidance: To Ensure Security with Fortified Defense

  • Following the President’s national security guidance and evaluating the overall strategic environment, we centered the national strategy on “fortifying national security, dealing defense affairs with professionalism, realizing self-reliant defense, protecting well-being of the people, and expanding strategic cooperation.”
  • Considering the threats and challenges posed by the enemy, the military strategy aims at building “Resolute Defense and Multi-Domain Deterrence.”

3. Reinforcing Military Strength: Constructing an Unbreakable Force

  • Guided by the military strategy and defense requirements, the ROC Armed Forces implements force buildup and training programs.
  • Asymmetric systems, which are small, numerous, smart, stealthy, mobile and hard to be detected and countered shall be buildup and associated with innovative tactics and employments.
  • Capabilities of command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR), information warfare (IW), and electronic warfare (EW) are to be enhanced. An intelligent network of information, communications, and electronic (ICE) warfare is to be constructed to improve the battlefield management and effectiveness of joint operations.
  • Inter-service logistic capacities are to be further integrated to ensure the readiness of weapons and equipment. A civilian and military ( civ-mil) logistic support cooperation system is to be established to keep readily accessible resources for operations.
  • Reserve force reform, centered on organizing, force structuring, training, and equipping, is to be initiated to improve the mobilization mechanism, and strengthen the capabilities of the reserve force.

4. Building Resiliency: Pragmatic Management in Defense Affairs

  • We continue to optimize the force management system, strengthen the functions of defense organizations, forge a better sense of unity, and fortify the psychological readiness of military troops.
  • Diversified recruitment channels and the associated measures are to be adjusted to improve personnel quality, and ultimately shape the ROC Armed Forces into a fit, elite, and robust modem combat force.
  • Cares provided to service members and their family dependents are to be well­improved to protect their rights and benefits, allow them to concentrate on their duties without worries.
  • Defense budgets are formulated at an adequate level to support our force buildup and defense infrastructure, through scientific assessment, we can maximize the effectiveness of defense resources.
  • All-out defense education is to be further expanded. In order to use our comprehensive national power to deter the enemy’s aggression, all-out defense drills will be enhanced to increase our crisis awareness and will to defend against the enemy.
  • Emergency response capacities of the ROC Armed Forces continue to support epidemic prevention, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR), and protection of our maritime rights and interests.

5. Sustainable Roadmap: Developing Self-reliant Defense

  • Budget for research and development (R&D) is to be steadily increased, and R&D capacities in all sectors are to be integrated to develop advanced technologies and weapons, and cultivate professionals in dual-use technologies.
  • Seeking breakthroughs in critical defense technologies continuously, so as to develop next generation (next-gen) weapon and equipment, and achieve a self-reliant defense for the nation.
  • Complying with the Defense Industry Development Act and its related regulations, combining with civilian technological capacities c to support the development of domestic defense industries, to construct a prosperous environment for defense industries.
  • Offset resources are to be combined with local capacities to form a supply chain of defense industries, so as to motivate domestic industries to upgrade and enhance the self-reliant defense.

6. Consolidating Security: Addressing Gray Zone Conflict

  • Facing threats of the PRC cognitive warfare, the ROC Armed Forces will follow the guidance of inter-agency reaction mechanism and make use of diversified media to counter effectively.
  • In response to the threat of IW from the PRC, the ROC Armed Forces are fortifying information security and management, so as to form an effective information defense in-depth and enhance cyber operation capacities.
  • Concerning intrusion and provocation by the enemy’s aerial and maritime assets, the ROC Armed Forces continues to watch closely with high vigilance and will further improve the capacity to cope with contingencies and unexpected conditions cautiously.

7. Strategic Cooperation: Creating Strategic Value of Taiwan

  • Continue to elaborate the geostrategic value of our nation and cooperate with like­minded countries to contribute collectively to regional peace and stability.
  • We continue to deepen the cooperation with the United States on defense and military affairs, expand exchanges with friendly countries, and participate in events hosted by think tanks and the international community, so as to enhance our effectiveness of strategic communication.
  • We maintain exchanges and cooperation with various countries on epidemic prevention, HA/DR, and anti-terrorism affairs.

Download the document here.

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