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Taiwan should strengthen deterrence capabilities: scholar

Taiwan should strengthen deterrence capabilities: scholar

Taipei, March 5 (CNA) Constrained by a limited defense budget, Taiwan should strengthen its deterrence capabilities but also maintain friendly ties with China to lower the possibility of a war across the Taiwan Strait, an international affairs scholar said Monday. Lin Chong-pin, a professor at Tamkang University and a former deputy defense minister, said that with China's defense budget growing by double digits every year since 1989, Taiwan is no longer capable of engaging in an arms race with the mainland. Taiwan will need to make effective and economical investments in military equipment to maximize its deterrence capabilities and force China to consider the costs of utilizing armed force against Taiwan, he said. He also urged the defense ministry to study how insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq fought United States forces with inexpensive weapons and guerrilla tactics, because China's People's Liberation Army has based its development largely on the U.S. military model. In terms of soft power, Lin suggested that Taiwan's high quality of life, its attractive lifestyle, and cultural development could all serve as catalysts for reform in China and decrease the hostility people there feel toward Taiwan. Though China announced publicly that its defense budget would grow by 11.2 percent from a year earlier, Lin speculated that "China's biggest defense expenditure was on high-tech military development," which was not included in the public figures. Lin's opinion was echoed by Erich Shih, a senior editor with Defense International magazine, who said a lot of China's spending on defense was hidden. Shih said that although cross-Taiwan Strait relations have improved, Taiwan should still put a high priority on developing its defensive capabilities because they are the backbone of maintaining peace. (By Kang Shih-jen and Jamie Wang)


Updated : 2020-12-03 16:04 GMT+08:00