ROC Central News Agency
Oct. 2, 2013
Minister of National Defense Yen Ming (嚴明) said Wednesday that while China continues its military build-up, Taiwan is building a leaner and meaner military that can serve as a credible deterrent to China.
Yen made the remarks in his first administrative report to the Legislative Yuan since he took office in early August.
During the session, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Yi-ying said a Chinese military report indicated that China had over 7,000 armored vehicles in 2012 and the number has increased to 15,400 in 2013.
Meanwhile, China’s Navy now has more than 600 airplanes, while its Air Force has 3,800 compared with 2,900 in 2012, Chiu said.
He said China’s growing military strength could increasingly affect Taiwan. Meanwhile, little progress has been made in Taiwan’s plan to shift from military conscription to an all-volunteer service, Chiu said.
Taiwan’s military power is still far less than China’s, Chiu said, questioning the ROC armed forces’ ability to safeguard the security of the country under such circumstances.
In response, Yen said the rise of China’s military is a fact, but Taiwan is building a force with the ability to cope with hostile situations. Taiwan aims to create a force that is small but elite, small but skillful, small but strong, and has the capability of deterring any use of force by China against Taiwan, he said.
Meanwhile, ruling Kuomintang Legislator Wu Yu-jen expressed concern over Taiwan’s delay in establishing an all-volunteer military.
Yen said in response that because recruitment has fallen short of expectations, the launch date of the all-volunteer service must be postponed to 2016.
From Channel NewsAsia, Aug. 7, 2013:
Taiwan’s chief of general staff General Yen Ming was named defence minister on Wednesday following the resignation of his predecessor over plagiarism claims just six days after taking office.
Yen, 63, who has served a number of top positions in the armed forces including the air force chief, replaced scholar-turned-minister Andrew Yang who resigned on Tuesday, the cabinet said in a statement.
Yang served the shortest cabinet term in Taiwan’s history following his surprise resignation after an opposition legislator and a university instructor came forward to accuse him of plagiarism over an article published in a book in 2007.