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Amid military reform, China unlikely to attack Taiwan soon: report

2018/12/13 20:57:06

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 13 (CNA) China is unlikely to flex its muscles on a large scale in the Taiwan Strait any time soon as its military reform is still in progress, a local think tank said in a report Thursday.

Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping (習近平), China's ongoing military reform is aimed at purging corruption, eliminating abuse of power, and transforming its People's Liberation Army (PLA) from a homeland defense force into an outward-facing military, the newly founded Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR) said in its report.

"However, despite the rapid restructuring over the past year, the reset in the PLA's command system means a 'break-in' period is a requisite, implying that, in the short term, Beijing is unlikely to provoke a large-scale crisis in the Taiwan Strait," the institute said.

The report came in the wake of reported comments by China Air Force Colonel Dai Xu, who said at a conference in Beijing on Dec. 8 that Beijing should send warships to confront United States Navy vessels in the contested South China Sea, and "be ready to take over Taiwan."

The INDSR report on military and political developments in China was one of three it released Thursday, with the other two assessing the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region and defense technology trends.

In its report on the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region, the INDSR said peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is a key factor.

It noted that the U.S. has approved a number of political and military measures that support Taipei and counter Beijing.

The U.S. has also continued to encourage Taipei to contribute to the Indo-Pacific strategy, which is expected to help balance the cross-strait situation that is currently tilted in favor of China militarily, the report said.

Meanwhile, in its assessment of defense technology trends, the INDSR said technology will play an increasingly important role in the battlefields of the future, which is crucial to Taiwan as it is outmanned and outgunned by a much larger adversary on the other side of the strait.

The report said Taiwan recognizes the benefits of localizing equipment production, with international cooperation, as evidenced by its indigenous defense program.

However, it is imperative to establish stronger security for sensitive and pioneering technology by introducing laws, regulations and new management concepts, among other initiatives, the report said.

Officially launched in May, the government-funded INDSR is a semi-official think tank responsible for studying and offering advice to the government on national security issues.

Its chairman is Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬), who served as defense minister from May 2016 to Feb 2018.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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