A Pentagon official proposed four strategies for Taiwan to beef up its defense capabilities in the face of a growing military threat from China, including making efforts to prioritize national defense resources and developing elite forces.
David Helvey, a senior adviser to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affair, made the suggestions during a speech Monday at the 2016 U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference.
The first reform needed, Helvey contended, was for Taiwan to prioritize its national defense resources and increase its defense budget to modernize its military, bolster its combat capabilities and develop the ability to manufacture weapons systems and equipment at home.
Second, Taiwan should prioritize homeland defense and invest more to beef up the military's ability to defend Taiwan, he said, arguing that this would be Taiwan's biggest advantage in the event of an armed conflict across the Taiwan Strait.
Third, he suggested that Taiwan develop elite forces capable of deterring, interfering with and delaying an attack staged by the enemy. Taiwan also needs a military that can quickly recover from cyber, missile and mid-air attacks by enemy forces, he said.
The fourth and last strategy Helvey proposed for Taiwan is to invest in asymmetric capabilities, which he said will increase Taiwan's survival capability.
To this end, mobile coastal defense missile systems, sea mines and submarines are among the weapons systems Taiwan could deploy in asymmetric warfare, he said.
Helvey also reaffirmed the U.S.'s commitment to supplying Taiwan with equipment and services to help it maintain an adequate self-defense capability, which is in line with the Taiwan Relations Act.
Taiwan's Deputy Defense Minister Lee Hsi-ming (???) is heading the country's delegation to the annual defense meeting.
In addition to ranking U.S. officials, more than 50 representatives from 30 Taiwanese companies, as well as around 100 people from the U.S. defense industry and think tanks are participating in the conference.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel