Japan should suggest that the United States government relocate Japan-based U.S. troops to Taiwan to help ensure regional security, scholars urged yesterday at an international symposium held in Taipei to discuss the transformation of the U.S. military and the framework of Asian security.
In his welcoming remarks, former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said that the world has entered a second era of cold war among the U.S., China, and Russia. In light of China's growing military and economic strength, Taiwan should be well equipped with arms to cope with any possible surprise attacks launched by China, he said.
The forum, attended by scholars from Taiwan and Japan was co-hosted by the Taiwan National Security Institute and Japan's Asian Security Forum.
Ng Yuzin Chiautong, chairperson of the TNSI, said that due to the crucial strategic roles that the Taiwan Strait and Bashi Channel play in regional security, the Taiwan security issue could develop into an international concern.
Chang Hsimo, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at National Sun Yat-sen University, said that according to an announcement made by U.S. President George W. Bush, the U.S. Army plans to relocate 70,000 soldiers in the next 10 years from Germany and Korea to east Europe, the continental U.S.A., central Asia, and the Middle East.
Chang said that although the relocation would only account for approximately 10 percent of the U.S. Army's force, it could imply that U.S. intends to shift its geopolitical attention from Europe to Asia and to establish an active military task force in the west Pacific to maintain its military superiority.
Even on a small scale, a modern U.S. force could sustain, or even enhance, its strength with advanced technology, the scholar noted. He further pointed out that the government deficit and legislative boycott in Taiwan have limited financial support for the island's military transformation. Combined with diplomatic isolation and the lack of opportunity to engage in joint drills with U.S. and Japanese military, Taiwan could be left with a weaker armed forces and become a military burden to the U.S. and Japan, he warned.