Boosting the national defense budget, avoiding a spending blowout on submarines, watching out for aggression in the South China Sea and keeping up Taiwan’s defense from cyber attacks; chances are Taiwan’s president will be kept busy keeping the country safe in the second year of her presidency.
The News Lens
By: Michal Thim
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will mark the end of her first year in power on
May 20. It was hardly an uneventful 12 months for the country’s first woman president. The defense and security arena was no different, despite generally being lower profile than issues like pension reform, same-sex marriage or transitional justice.
Taiwan presidents do not tend to score popularity points in defense and security. The misfire of an anti-ship missile or the latest espionage scandal are just two examples. Despite this, Tsai has made an effort to visit to military bases, pursuing good relations with the military and hoping to improve the armed forces’ public image.
One of the more visible defense and national security milestones of her first year in office was the official launch of the indigenous defense submarine (IDS) project in March. [FULL STORY][