November 12 2020 

This year’s Asia Security Workshop, organized by the Taiwan Center for Security Studies (TCSS) and co-hosted by the Research Institute at St. Andrew’s University, Japan, focused on the topic: “Security Turbulence in Asia: Shaping New Strategy in Japan and Taiwan”. The event was co-chaired by Dr. Fu-Kuo Liu (director of the Taiwan Center for Security Studies) and Dr. Masahiro Matsumura (professor at the Faculty of Law at St. Andrew’s University).

On November 12, TCSS was joined by scholars and experts across the field. Speakers included Dr. Li-Chung Yuan and Dr. Hon-Min Yau (assistant professors at the Graduate Institute of Strategic Studies and International Affairs, National Defense University), Dr. Toshitaka Takeuchi (professor at the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies), Major General Juichou Richard Hu (ret.) (deputy director of TCSS) and General Sadamasa Oue (ret.) (research fellow at Harvard University Asia Center).

In the first session, Gen. Oue pushed for an active denial strategy of deterrence and to maintain air superiority, as Dr. Yau presented an alternative and updated defense strategy for Taiwan. As Dr. Yau pointed out, it is becoming clear that past strategies in countering Beijing aggression are in need of recalibration.

When discussing defense buildup in the region, Dr. Matsumura commented on Taiwan procurement policies; noting that due to the size of Taiwan, it must be clever in how to spend limited resources. Dr. Yuan followed with a comprehensive introduction on Taiwan’s All-Out Defense, as well as possible recommendations in adopting models such as the Swedish concept of “Home Guard” or the Estonian volunteer force of “cyber warriors”.

Finally, Dr. Takeuchi and Gen. Hu discussed managing the increasingly volatile dynamics with Beijing. While Dr. Takeuchi admitted that despite not having named China explicitly as a threat, Japan does view China as the de facto main security concern today. According to Gen. Hu, despite the blurred realities of what would provoke Beijing to potentially invade Taiwan, only one criterion is absolutely straightforward, the formal declaration of Taiwanese independence. The rest are blurred realities that are circumstantial at best.

As the conference came to a close, Dr. Liu expressed his gratitude to the speakers for their contribution. Further emphasizing the importance of discussing policy issues between Japan and Taiwan and hopes to continue future dialogues with regards to UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) & UUV (unmanned underwater vehicles) use and capabilities in the region.