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STRATEGIC VISION Volume 4, Issue 23


October, 2015

for Taiwan Security w

ISSN 2227-3646

Balanced Diplomacy Charles Yang

Swarm Defense Tactics Tobias Burgers

Syrian Refugees Dean Karalekas

Cooperation in the Malacca Strait Suchittra Ritsakulchai

Resurgent Japan A Cause for Regional Concern? Jae Yeop Kim


Volume 4, Issue 23

for Taiwan Security w

October, 2015

Contents Concerns over Japan’s rise in Asia...................................................4

Jae Yeop Kim

Taiwan’s balance between China and the United States.................8

Charles Yang

Syrian refugee crisis...................................................................... 14

Dean Karalekas

Swarm defensive strategy.............................................................. 19

Tobias Burgers

Maritime cooperation in the Malacca Strait.................................23

Suchittra Ritsakulchai

Submissions: Essays submitted for publication are not to exceed 2,000 words in length, and should conform to the following basic format for each 1200-1600 word essay: 1. Synopsis, 100-200 words; 2. Background description, 100-200 words; 3. Analysis, 800-1,000 words; 4. Policy Recommendations, 200-300 words. Book reviews should not exceed 1,200 words in length. Notes should be formatted as endnotes and should be kept to a minimum. Authors are encouraged to submit essays and reviews as attachments to emails; Microsoft Word documents are preferred. For questions of style and usage, writers should consult the Chicago Manual of Style. Authors of unsolicited manuscripts are encouraged to consult with the executive editor at before formal submission via email. The views expressed in the articles are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of their affiliate institutions or of Strategic Vision. Manuscripts are subject to copyediting, both mechanical and substantive, as required and according to editorial guidelines. No major alterations may be made by an author once the type has been set. Arrangements for reprints should be made with the editor. Cover photograph of a Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ Eagle with the 304th Tactical Fighter Squadron in full afterburner in a minimum radius turn during the 2013 JASDF Tsuiki Air Festival in Kyushu, Japan is courtesy of Patrick Cardinal.

Editor Fu-Kuo Liu Executive Editor Aaron Jensen Associate Editor Dean Karalekas Editorial Board Tiehlin Yen Raviprasad Narayanan Richard Hu James Yuan Carlos Hsieh Lipin Tien STRATEGIC VISION For Taiwan Security (ISSN 2227-3646) Volume 4, Number 22, August, 2015, published under the auspices of the Center for Security Studies and National Defense University. All editorial correspondence should be mailed to the editor at STRATEGIC VISION, Center for Security Studies in Taiwan. No. 64, Wan Shou Road, Taipei City 11666, Taiwan, ROC. The editors are responsible for the selection and acceptance of articles; responsibility for opinions expressed and accuracy of facts in articles published rests solely with individual authors. The editors are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts; unaccepted manuscripts will be returned if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Photographs used in this publication are used courtesy of the photographers, or through a creative commons licence. All are attributed appropriately. Any inquiries please contact the Executive Editor directly via email at: Or by telephone at: +886 (02) 8237-7228 Online issues and archives can be viewed at our website: © Copyright 2015 by the Center for Security Studies. Articles in this periodical do not necessarily represent the views of either the MCSS, NDU, or the editors.

From The Editor


he editors and staff of Strategic Vision would like to wish our readers well as we usher in the autumn season. Major events in the Asia-Pacific continue to unfold and take shape. We hope that policymakers and scholars in the academic community have the chance to keep up with these events. In support of that effort, we offer our latest edition of Strategic Vision. We open our fifth issue of the year with an analysis of how history influences perceptions of Japan’s increasingly active regional security role by Dr. Kim Jae Yeop. Dr. Kim is a senior researcher at the National Defense Strategy Institute at Hannam University in South Korea. Next, Dr. Charles Yang, a graduate of National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of National Development argues that Taiwan should seek a more balanced policy in its relationship between the United States and China. Strategic Vision’s own Dean Karalekas provides an overview of the global dimensions of the Syrian refugee crisis and argues that Taiwan should also play a role in providing aid and outreach to the refugees. Tobias Burgers, a doctoral candidate at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of the Free University Berlin argues that Taiwan’s military should utilize the swarming strategy, which employs large numbers of unmanned systems, to better defend itself against larger powers. Finally, Suchittra Ritsakulchai, a PhD student at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan, looks at regional antipiracy cooperation in the Malacca Straits. We hope you enjoy this issue, and look forward to bringing you the finest analysis and reporting on the issues of importance to security in the Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Fu-Kuo Liu Editor Strategic Vision

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Strategic Vision vol. 4, no. 23 (October, 2015)

Expanding Roles Japan’s expanding security role in Asia causes apprehension among neighbors Kim Jae Yeop

photo: Jose L. Hernandez US Air Force Lt. Gen. Dolan confers with his counterpart, Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Sugiyama during bilateral training at Misawa Air Base.


orld War II in the Asia-Pacific was initiated by Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931. In the name of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japan expanded its war of aggression to the Chinese mainland, Southeast Asia, and even the Pacific Ocean with the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Japan’s ruthless violation of regional peace was finally ended by the surrender of Emperor Hirohito on August 15, 1945, after two atomic bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

try’s previous militaristic policy by renouncing the potential for waging war, the right of belligerency, and the use of force as a means of settling international disputes. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida in the early 1950s, Japan concentrated its national efforts to become the world’s leading economic powerhouse, relying on the US defense commitment for national security. The Self Defense Forces (SDF) of Japan, established in 1954, could only exercise power to the minimum necessary for defend-

The defeat fundamentally changed the course of Japan’s national policy. The so-called “Peace Constitution” of Japan in 1946 abolished the coun-

ing territory against foreign invasion. Now that 70 years have passed, Japan is once again emerging into a major military power. In 2014, de-

Dr Kim Jae Yeop is a senior researcher at the National Defense Strategy Institute at Hannam University, and is currently a visiting scholar at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. He can be reached for comment at

Expanding Roles  b  5

fense expenditures in Japan were the seventh largest in the world, and the second largest in Asia. The SDF is armed with cutting-edge, top-class weapons systems such as six ballistic missile defense (BMD)capable Aegis destroyers, three light aircraft carriers, more than 200 F-15 combat aircraft, and four aerial refueling tankers. Since 1992, SDF troops have been dispatched on peacekeeping, anti-piracy, and humanitarian relief missions overseas, including deployments to Cambodia, Iraq, the Gulf of Aden, and South Sudan.

Collective action It is noteworthy that Japan began to take a far more assertive stance on foreign policy only after Shinzo Abe, the prominent conservative leader, returned to power by winning the general election in December 2012. During his visit to the United States on February 2013, Prime Minister Abe proudly declared “Japan is back.” Japan’s first-ever National Security Strategy Report, published in December 2013, unveiled a vision of a “Proactive contribution to peace,” which emphasized the strengthening and expanding of Japan’s own capabilities and roles to cope with security chal-

lenges from recent shifts in the regional balance of power, mainly due to China’s rapid military rise. Today, Japan seeks to legalize the right of collective self-defense as a top priority for expanding its role in regional security. Since the end of World War II, Japan’s post-war cabinets have maintained the legal interpretation that Japan cannot exercise collective self-defense, because it exceeds the minimum necessary level for defending Japanese territory, under the restriction placed by Article 9 of the Constitution. On July 1, 2014, however, the Abe cabinet publicly approved a change of the interpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise collective self-defense. This decision was followed by legislating a package of 11 security-related bills, which were highly involved with exercising collective self-defense. While opposition parties and civic groups denounced the legislation as “war bills,” the Abe cabinet’s controversial security legislation was approved in Japan’s upper house of Parliament on September 19. Japan’s move to allow collective self-defense is a major change from the country’s traditional, post-war security policy. It will enable the SDF to carry out a broader range of military missions anywhere in the

photo: Trevor Welsh The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold departs San Diego on its way to join forward-deployed naval forces in the Pacific.


world, which was previously considered a violation of the Constitution. These new missions include protecting US naval warships under attack, intercepting ballistic missiles against allied states, countering naval blockades at major international sea lanes, and forcibly stopping and inspecting suspicious vessels that may be carrying weapons destined for countries hostile to Japan’s allies. Such missions carry risks, and could lead to involvement in high-intensity, combatrelated armed conflicts, which may lead SDF troops to take an offensive posture outside Japanese territory. The Abe cabinet has pledged that Japan’s newlylegalized right of collective self-defense will only be exercised when attacks on other countries threaten Japanese people’s life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and pose a direct danger to the national security of Japan. Critics of Abe and his cabinet have complained that this criteria is too abstract, and can be lead to the mobilization of the SDF in international conflicts through an arbitrary decision by the cabinet. After all, they point out: legalizing the right of collective self-defense will grant Japan more chances to expand its role and influence on the regional security order, by projecting the SDF’s sophisticated armed power beyond Japanese territory.

Moving forward Japan’s active stance for security in the Asia-Pacific region is already in process. In his keynote speech at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on May 30, 2014, Prime Minister Abe called for respect of the “rule of law at sea” and “freedom of navigation and overflight.” This is in ideological contrast with China’s sovereign-centric logic of “core interests,” on which Beijing bases its claims in its various maritime disputes. Additionally, Japan has begun to provide substantial security assistance to the Philippines and Vietnam—two nations that are especially beleaguered by China’s aggressive prosecution of its claims in the

South China Sea. Japan has already agreed to hand over to these two countries a number of used naval patrol boats and coastguard vessels. In May of this year, Japan sent a naval frigate and a maritime pa-

“opposition parties in Japan are too weak to check, control and stop the Abe cabinet’s more assertive foreign policy” trol aircraft to the South China Sea to take part in a joint exercise with the Philippines and Vietnam. Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, the head of the Japanese Maritime SDF, admitted that Japan may consider joining the United States Navy in conducting patrols in the South China Sea, as a means to cope with China’s maritime expansion. International circumstances are favorable for Abe and his cabinet to implement a greater regional security role for Japan. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party won a majority in general elections in 2012 and 2014. As a result, opposition parties in Japan are too weak to check the Abe cabinet’s more assertive foreign policy moves. There is growing attention and concern in the Asia-Pacific over China’s military rise, and this has been the impetus for Japan’s ambition to expand its military capabilities and power projection. It has also led to great support for Abe’s move, both domestically and in countries involved in diplomatic or military conflicts with China. Above all, the United States, Japan’s former adversary in World War II, is now fully supporting Japan’s move to take a greater security role in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States expects that Japanese armed forces, once free from being shackled by the pacifist Constitution’s geographic and functional restrictions on the range of missions they are able to conduct, will provide a great help to US efforts to balance China’s military rise and adventurism in the Asia-Pacific. This is why the revision of the Guidelines for U.SJapan Defense Cooperation, announced in April of

Expanding Roles  b  7

photo: Abraham Essenmacher Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson shares a laugh with his Korean counterpart Adm. Jung Ho-sub during a fleet engagement visit.

this year, includes a geographically and functionally expanded role for the Japanese SDF, according to the needs of collective self-defense. The biggest concern about Japan’s ambitious move toward a “proactive contribution to peace” is that it is being led by political leaders accused of engaging in historic revisionism. Prime Minister Abe has been criticized for remarks that seemed to deny Japan’s responsibility for acts of aggression and war crimes during World War II. “The definition of aggression has yet to be established in academia or in the international community,” Abe said at an Upper House session. China, especially, expressed official outrage at Abe’s December, 2013 visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. Even Abe’s public statement during an August 14 event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, at which he pointed out that, over the years, Japanese leaders had expressed “feelings of deep remorse” and issued “heartfelt apologies” for Japan’s actions during the war, raised the ire of his critics. Opponents pointed out that his phrasing was such that the remarks were just a reaffirmation of previous statements, not a direct and fresh apology from Abe himself. Critics also chafed at his assertion during a press conference that Japan’s post-war

generations, who had nothing to do with the misdeeds of World War II, should not be predestined to apologize in perpetuity. Controversy over Japan’s historical revisionism is not just a mere accusation of wrongdoings that ended several decades ago. It is an important test of whether Japan is a responsible, peace-loving power in the Asia-Pacific region. Denying or justifying old actions including colonial rule, the war of aggression, the Nanking Massacre, and the practice of using comfort women cannot be compatible with a proactive contribution to peace’. If Abe sticks to his own distorted historical view, Japan’s move toward a more assertive military power will become another destabilizing factor in regional security, heightening tensions and distrust. Japan’s increased diplomatic and military influence must be based on universal, international values such as peace, non-aggression, and human dignity; not historical revisionism. Detailed and reliable measures must be taken to ensure that Japan’s exercise of its collective self-defense will not violate its principle of an exclusively defense-oriented policy. These are necessary if Japan is to win support and understanding from neighboring countries for its greater role in the regional security order. n

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Strategic Vision vol. 4, no. 23 (October, 2015)

Balancing Act

Shifting developments in Asia necessitate rebalancing of Taiwan’s relations Charles Yang


ather than simply aligning itself with one side as China continues to rise both economically and militarily, the government in Taipei should seek to derive advantages from both the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In other words, the government of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan should strive to strike a balance between these two powers, rather than bandwagoning with the United States. There are several developments which argue for such a policy change. First, the national power of the PRC is increasing. A good relationship with this

emerging economic powerhouse would greatly benefit Taiwan’s economic interests. Conversely, Taiwan would suffer if it seeks to integrate itself with the economic strategy of the United States and Japan. Second, American power is declining. America’s China policy has changed from one approximating containment, to one approaching détente: one might say, from congagement to hedging. Scholars such as Charles Glaser and John J. Mearsheimer have suggested that the United States should abandon its longstanding commitments to Taiwan because the government in Taipei is not being serious about its own

photo: William Jamieson A French La Fayette frigate on patrol in the Indian Ocean. These highly capable vessels also form an important component of Taiwan’s surface fleet.

Dr Charles Yang is a graduate of National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of National Development. He specializes in the political-economic development of China and US-PRC-ROC relations. He can be reached for comment at

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Henry Kissinger, seen here with Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, made a secret visit to China and met with Communist leaders to negotiate a rapprochement.

defense, and because the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) is becoming too close to the Chinese Communist Party. Third, the ensuing security competition will not be good for Taiwan, no matter how it turns out in the end. Last but not least, the United States has not always been completely trustworthy when it comes to the ROC’s interests: In 1971, Henry Kissinger made a secret trip to China where he readily acknowledged Beijing’s position and made other commitments to harm ROC interests, e.g., to withdraw two-thirds of US forces from the island once the Vietnam War had ended. However, a more balanced cross-strait policy is hard to achieve with the current realities of ROC arms pur-

power has grown. We can see that, from 1970 to 1989, when the PRC was relatively weak, Taiwan was able to purchase arms from countries other than the United States, which accounted for 9.3 percent of its defense needs. However, in the period between 1990 and 2014, Taiwan only purchased 4.5 percent of its defense articles from countries other than the United States. In other words, the PRC’s behavior is pushing Taiwan to depend more heavily on the US willingness to sell defensive weapons to Taipei.

chases from the United States. It is well known that Taiwan is most often unable to purchase the arms it needs to secure the country’s defense. For the sake of isolating Taiwan, and trying to push it toward annexation, The PRC does its best to pressure any country which wants to sell weapons to Taiwan. This pressure has become increasingly effective as China’s

cases, the answer is yes. In 1958, French President Charles de Gaulle announced that he wanted to establish the Defense Procurement Agency to improve France’s defense industry in order to achieve an independent defense and foreign policy. As a nonaligned country during the Cold War, India did not restrict its arms purchases to a single country. In the period from

Difficult decisions Will a country A continue to depend on country B when most of A’s weapons are supplied by B? In most


1949 to 1989, arms from the United Kingdom accounted for a mere 22 percent of India’s weapons purchases, while the Soviet Union accounted for 65 percent. Meanwhile, 96 percent of Japan’s arms came from the United States, and Japan’s foreign policy has clearly followed America’s foreign policy since the end of World War II. The history of Vietnam’s arms purchases also shows a clear connection between relations and arms sales: Before China’s 1979 war with Vietnam, Hanoi imported just 3 percent of its weapons from Beijing. Since the war, however, Vietnam has chosen not to do business with the PRC for any

“The DPP should understand that now is an opportune time to negotiate more equally with the US on arms sales.” of its defense purchases, even as China’s status as an arms exporter has increased. During the Yom Kippur War, Israel faced the difficult situation of being over dependent on its supplier of arms. Prior to the Yom Kippur War, Israel conducted a strategy of pre-emptive war in the three previous Arab–Israeli Wars, in an early morning meeting on October 6, 1973, six hours before the war broke out, Israel prime minister Golda Meir made a decision: there would be no pre-emptive strike. The reason for this decision was that other developed nations, being more dependent on OPEC oil, took more seriously the threat of an Arab oil embargo and trade boycott, and had thus stopped supplying Israel with munitions. As a result, Israel was totally dependent on the United States for military support, and particularly sensitive to anything that might endanger that relationship. Therefore, before the war, American leadership, including Kissinger and Nixon, consistently warned Meir that she must not be responsible for initiating a Middle East war. On the day the war began, Kissinger

told Israel not to undertake a pre-emptive strike. Meir confirmed to him that Israel would not. She believed that Israel might need American assistance soon, and it was imperative that it not be blamed for starting the war. “If we strike first, we won’t get help from anybody,” she said. After Meir made her decision, at 10:15 am she met with US ambassador Kenneth Keating in order to inform the United States that Israel did not intend to pre-emptively start a war. This decision led to massive Israeli casualties when the war began. In contrast to supplier abandonment, it is also possible for the dependent country to sever the arms sale relationship, this has occurred on at least two occasions. During the Cold War, Egypt purchased massive amounts of Soviet arms since 1955. It acquired 91 percent of its foreign arms from the Soviet Union in the period from 1955 to 1977. However, the Soviets sought to avoid a new conflagration between the Arabs and Israelis so as not to be drawn into a confrontation with the United States. At that time, both the Soviets and the Americans were then pursuing détente, and had no interest in seeing the Middle East destabilized. That was why Egypt was only able to obtain defensive materiel, such as anti-aircraft missiles. This Soviet policy became one of the causes of Egypt’s military weakness. This was unacceptable to Egyptian leaders. Therefore, in July 1972, President Anwar Sadat boldly expelled almost all of the 20,000 Soviet military advisers from his country and reoriented the country’s foreign policy to be more favorable to the United States. Eventually, Egypt ceased purchasing Soviet weapons altogether after 1978. Iran also experienced a similar situation. The United States had supported the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in Iran, and hoped that his country could become a stabilizing force in the Middle East. Washington supplied Tehran with large quantities of weapons, and in 1974, when Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger visited Tehran, Iran became

Balancing Act  b  11

photo: 11th MEU An AH-1Z Super Cobra helicopter is being flown by a US Marine. The AH-1W variant of these military helicopters are also operated by Taiwan’s military.

the first country to operate the F-14 armed with the formidable Phoenix long-range air-to-air missile. The Iranian Air Force also bristled with formidable weapons like F-4 Phantom jets, which the United States was using to pulverize North Vietnam, and with which Israel devastated Egyptian Air Force and tank columns in 1973. US-made weapons accounted for 85 percent of Iran’s foreign arms purchases between 1953 and 1979. However, after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the new Iranian government led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeinei instantly ceased importing US-made arms. These two examples show that a previously dependent country can dissolve the relationship with its dominant foreign arms suppliers as long as they have viable alternatives or can accept the security consequences. Therefore, Taiwan should at least theoretically be able to follow these examples, and thus an examination of realistic alternative arms procure-

ment is needed, as well as a sober assessment of the security consequences of Taipei ceasing to buy arms from Washington. In Taiwan, there is currently a great priority placed on maintaining the strong relationship with the United States, and the concomitant arms sales that result. This has sometimes spilled over into other political areas, such as in 2012 when the KMT government tried its best to pass a controversial amendment in the Legislative Yuan to allow US beef imports with certain levels of Ractopamine, a leanness enhancing drug. During this process, legislators from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) occupied the Legislative Yuan for five days, preventing the legislature from conducting business. While the furor over Ractopamine levels in US beef (for which there is not a large market in Taiwan), may have seemed like a tempest in a teacup, opponents of the legislation saw it as a dangerous precedent that could be


(and subsequently was) applied to Ractopamine levels in US pork, for which the market in Taiwan is huge, and so they sought to protect local pork producers. One of the KMT’s reasons for supporting the controversial amendment had nothing to do with leanness drugs or beef: it was because the party worried that this case would affect Taiwan’s arms purchases from the United States. Taiwan’s military strategy has also been affected by the United States because it decides the priority of arms sales. US decisions are based on highlevel security officials who build different channels to communicate their opinions. The Monterey Talks is a clear case of this situation. The talks were organized by both military and civilian leadership for discussions of strategy. The initial focus of the talks was “software, not hardware,” those in attendance claimed that they would avoid discussing arm sales, in the beginning. By the third round, however, US officials had obtained, and even changed, information about Taiwan’s defense priorities. More than a dozen US Department of Defense military surveys and assessment teams were dispatched to assess Taiwan’s

weaknesses and military needs, and left their recommendations with Taiwan military authorities as well.

Response needed It is necessary for an autonomous country or government to have different options for arms purchases. Even as Taipei is criticized for being over economically over dependent on Chine, the PRC often criticizes Taiwan for being over dependent on the United States. It is clear, however that the PRC is responsible for Taiwan’s dependence, because China prevents other countries from selling arms to Taiwan. Due to PRC pressure, Taiwan is essentially limited to purchasing arms from a single supplier, the United States. More attention should be focused on this point as Taiwan is being placed in an unfair position. Therefore, to reduce the degree of reliance on American arms, and in the absence of any viable alternatives, the only option is the domestic industry. A government has an unavoidable duty to pursue its country’s best interests, and so it is necessary for the ROC government to put the indig-

photo: Jose O. Nava Military personnel from Australia, the United States, and China prepare for Exercise Kowari in Australia. Such multinational exercise are increasing in Asia.

Balancing Act  b  13

photo: Andre T. Richard The sun begins to rise over the US Navy aircraft carrier John C. Stennis as it prepares to get underway for operations with allies in the Pacific.

enous defense industry on the front burner. The DPP has supported this effort and has published a series of Defense Policy Blue Papers which argue for this position. In the fifth blue paper, titled, “China’s Military Threats against Taiwan in 2025,” the authors suggest that Taiwan should seek to pursue what they call national defense development with Taiwanese characteristics. While this sounds encouraging, it is important that, should the DPP prove victorious in the upcoming elections, the leadership pursue national defense development with Taiwan’s best interests in mind, and not seek merely to satisfy US interests. As a case in point, the Blue Paper points out that the military budget should reach 3 percent of Taiwan’s GDP, this ratio exactly matches the request of the US

manned combat air vehicles. These goals have lead some to suspect that this plan is meant to align itself with the US Air-Sea Battle concept. Second, the DPP should understand that now is an opportune time to negotiate more equally with the United States on arms sales. Washington is shifting its approach and is putting more effort into balancing China’s rising influence. In March of 2015, the Council on Foreign Relations published a special report titled “Revising US Grand Strategy Toward China,” written by Robert D. Blackwill and Ashley J. Tellis. In it, they point out that the United States has responded inadequately to China’s growing power, and should craft a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing, rather than continuing to assist in Beijing’s ascendancy. If this trend does in-

Department of Defense’s “Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013.” In addition, the DPP’s plan focuses on the development of indigenous production of submarines, advanced vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) fighters, and indigenous production of advanced long-range un-

deed become policy, then Taiwan may have greater opportunity and leeway in its efforts to acquire arms from its traditional supplier, and more importantly, to ask for a greater transfer of technology. With increased technology transfer, Taiwan can in turn do more for its own industries, and ultimately, its own defense. n

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Strategic Vision vol. 4, no. 23 (October, 2015)

Humanitarian Hope Taiwan also has a part to play in responding to the Syrian refugee crisis Dean Karalekas


he refugee crisis that is currently being played out across Europe and the Middle East, while still an ongoing phenomenon, is one that will be analyzed by academics for years to come. It’s effects, moreover, will no doubt be felt for generations, dictated by how well the world responds to the unprecedented flow of refugees, most fleeing the ongoing civil war in Syria, but many seeking greener pastures than the chaos and bloodshed that mark day-to-day life in the post-Jasmine revolution Middle East and North Africa. As the nations of the world scramble to react to this fast-moving crisis, the Republic of China (ROC) must resist the temptation to remain on the sidelines, and must use this

opportunity to do its part as a responsible member of the international community by assisting in the resettlement of those left homeless by the chaos that now reigns in their homelands. In order to accomplish this, however, the government and people of Taiwan will have to adopt a less parochial view of citizenship through the adoption of immigration and refugee policies appropriate for the 21st century. As it stands now, official policy, and the social conception on which it is based, are predicated on perception of citizenship based on the principle of jus sanguinus, whereas what is required is a shift to a jus solis orientation. The jus solis principle, simply put, means a person’s

photo: Mystyslav Chernov Refugees sleep on the streeets of Budapest. Such images only tell a part of the story of the massive humanitarian crisis which is unfolding.

Dean Karalekas is a researcher with National Chengchi University’s Doctoral Program in Asia-Pacific Studies and associate editor of Strategic Vision. He can be reached for comment at

humanitarian hope  b  15

nationality, or identity, is dependent on where he was born. The just sanguinus principle, in contrast, assigns identity on the basis of blood heritage. In most of Europe, for example France, Holland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, they rely on the jus solis, as do (almost by their very definition) Canada and the United States. In these nations, citizenship is largely determined by place of birth. Germany, on the other hand, retains even today a philosophy of jus sanguinus. This is largely a relic of the creation of the modern German state. Though antiquated, this “law of the blood” is carried on even today, where the German identity is based on race. As pointed out by Rado Pribic, the Oliver E. Williams Professor of Languages & Literatures and Chair of International Affairs at Lafayette College, those with German ancestry are easily conferred German citizenship regardless of acculturation, whereas second- and third-generation descendents of immigrants, though born in Germany, have a difficult task obtaining such citizenship. It is this conception of blood heritage in Germany that famously contributed to the obsession with racial purity and “Aryan” descent in the first half of the last century. Despite this orientation, Germany today is one of the leading European nations responding with compassion and humanity to the refugee crisis, and is the nation to which the vast majority of refugees seek to reach.

world’s countries, the ROC confers citizenship according to the principle of jus sanguinus. The defining piece of legislation is the Nationality Law of the Republic of China, enacted in 1929, which stipulates that citizenship is based on descent from the father, except in cases where the father is unknown or stateless, but where the mother is an ROC citizen. In other

“While many of Taiwan’s ethnicities fall under the umbrella of Han Chinese, they are as culturally distinct from one another as British are from Americans.”

Broadly speaking, A good indicator of whether a nation operates on a principle of jus solis or jus san-

words, being born in Taiwan does not necessarily, in and of itself, automatically confer citizenship rights: only if the father is an ROC citizen. This applies regardless of the nationality of the mother, or in certain situations whether or not the child is born out of wedlock. The law was amended in 2000 to allow transmission of citizenship through either parent, but a strong patrilineal tendency in Taiwanese society continues to dominate. Clearly, Taiwan is very much a jus sanguinus society, and yet there are indications that it is better positioned to be able to accept and accommodate an influx of refugees better than its neighbors. Japan and South Korea are both remarkably ethnically homogeneous, whereas Taiwan is home to a number of different ethnic groups, including Hoklos, Hakkas, and members of the island’s many aboriginal ethnic groups. Indeed, in the exodus of 1949, refugees from virtually all the diverse corners of China were

guinus is its citizenship laws. The legislative codification of who is and is not allowed to be considered a member of the group is directly influenced by the prevailing conception in that society of membership and how it is achieved. According to a study by the US Office of Personnel Management, which compiled information on the citizenship laws of most of the

forced to retreat to Taiwan, there to live together in close quarters. While many of Taiwan’s ethnicities fall under the umbrella of Han Chinese, they are as culturally distinct from one another as British are from Americans. Moreover, unlike Indonesia and Malaysia, there remain few class divisions in society conferring privilege on some and hardship on others

National choices


photo: UK Department of International Development Syrian children attend class in a refugee camp in Lebanon. The future of these children lies in the hands of the international community.

(though to be fair, much work remains to be done to empower Taiwan’s indigenous peoples). Indeed, with each passing year, the ethnic isolation of Taiwan is being erased. The increasingly globalized economy has Taiwan’s workers and businesspeople plugged into virtually every region of the world; increased levels of tourism and travel have led to an increasingly cosmopolitan and worldly Taiwanese population; and a high rate of dual citizenship (while there are no hard numbers available, it has been reported that hundreds of thousands of ROC citizens have obtained citizenship in the United States alone) shows that the population of Taiwan now enjoy strong, substantial ties to the outside world, and they are far from the isolated islanders they were just two generations ago.

Embracing diversity The increasingly cosmopolitan nature of the Taiwan identity is emerging at just the right time, as the nation no longer can afford to remain isolated from the outside world and, following the aforementioned jus sanguinus principle, avoid taking in immigrants and

refugees. The main reason for this has to do with demographics, which paint a bleak picture of Taiwan’s future. According to the information website Index Mundi, the birth rate is 8.7 births/1,000 population, with a total fertility rate of 1.1. This is a very low fertility scenario with grave implications for Taiwan’s population growth, especially given the culture’s traditional aversion to immigration intake (with a net migration rate of 0.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population). With a median age of 38.1 and a population growth rate of just 0.29 percent, this reveals a greying population with all the associated problems that that entails. These problems can continue to be pushed down the road for subsequent administrations to deal with, but they cannot be ignored indefinitely. As countries in America and Europe have discovered, the only way to deal with this problem is by adopting an immigration policy that is proactive, realistic, and, most importantly, not race-based. At the current time, while it is not codified in legislation, the main trickle of incoming immigrants to Taiwan do so by marrying Taiwanese. The vast majority of these are women marrying Taiwanese men, and many of these are coming from China. This appears to have

humanitarian hope  b  17

the tacit approval of policymakers, as the linguistic similarity minimizes the sort of socialization problems that the government would eventually have to address. Short of opening the door to the 1.5 billion people of China, the current paradigm is ill-equipped to solve the demographic problems that Taiwan is just now beginning to face, and which will inevitable grow. There is, quite naturally, resistance in Taiwan to the idea of revamping the immigration laws to accept more outsiders. But in this way, Taiwan is far from unique. There is resistance to change in any society, as can be seen in photo: UK Department of International Development the debates raging in Eastern Europe A UN aid worker poses with children in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. over how to deal with the current crisis. In this regard, Taiwan is not special. Yet most of of transport makes this argument moot. For another, this resistance is based primarily on little more than Taiwan is too small to be able to accommodate such fear, xenophobia, and a desire to avoid taking action. a population influx. Yet this argument too is weak, In Asia, the refugee crisis is widely seen as a European especially after the people of Iceland, with a national problem: in Europe, many see it as a Middle-Eastern population of less than 350,000, have offered to take problem (with many asking why the Gulf states aren’t more than 10,000 Syrian refugees into their homes. doing more to absorb the refugee population). In Moreover, Taiwan is no stranger to taking in refugees fact, it is a global problem, and what we are witness(of a sort), with the 1949 exodus from China adding, by some accounts, some two million people to the “Taipei would be sending the sig- island’s existing population of six million. Obviously nal that Taiwan is part of the global the acceptance of a few Syrian refugees would pale community.” in comparison to the difficulty of accommodating the 1949 influx. ing now will have social, cultural, and demographic Another argument against such a plan is that the repercussions that will be felt for a generation. migrants are too culturally and linguistically different There are several arguments that could be made from the Taiwanese. While this is true, that difference against the notion of Taiwan accepting refugees. For is no more pronounced than the difference between one thing, there is the distance: Taiwan is too far away the Syrian refugees and the cultures of Germany, from the region of conflict. However, this argument Iceland, Canada, or many of the other nations that does not hold up—Taiwan is no farther away than are doing the most to deal with this unprecedented America or Canada, both of which are contributing global event. to the effort and accepting refugees, and today’s ease For another, there is the fear, spread by many far-


right parties in Europe and America, that the influx of refugees into Europe contains a poison pill in the form of Islamic State fighters, disguised as refugees and seeking to infiltrate Western society for the purpose of later terrorist acts. While this may be true in a small number of cases, it does not absolve states of the moral imperative to act on behalf of that vastly larger number of those who are true refugees. Moreover, by allowing this argument to factor into its response to the crisis, the government of Taiwan would be aligning itself with those far-right governments and parties in Europe espousing this view, and distancing itself from its more traditional allies in the parliaments of Europe.

Action needed The final, and perhaps most cynical reason for action is optics: By offering to take in refugees and making a good-faith effort to help them integrate into society, Taiwan would be taking the moral highground, and setting an example for the rest of the nations in Asia that the region is more than the just

the world’s factory. It would be doing its part help to alleviate what is truly a global crisis. Taipei would be sending the signal that Taiwan is part of the global community: This is especially important since Taiwan is, at present, not a part of the world—due to the diplomatic blockade perpetrated by Beijing, and a tendency o the part of the ROC government to keep a low international profile and not call too much attention to itself. Taiwan has long been a leader in cross-border and international humanitarian efforts: it fields some of the best-trained and best-equipped search-and-rescue operators and disaster relief teams in Asia, and regularly assists nations in needs after being struck by natural disasters; for example the people of Taiwan contributed more in terms of money and relief goods to the people of Japan after that country was struck by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. But true humanitarianism is not about giving and then disappearing: it is about making the long-term commitment to help alleviate the problems that confront the international community in times of need. Now is such a time. n

photo: US Department of State The massive Za’atari refugee camp spills over the desert floor in Jordan. The huge flood of refugees is beyond the capacity of neighboring countries.

b  19

Strategic Vision vol. 4, no. 23 (October, 2015)

Asymmetric Advantage Utilizing large numbers of unmanned systems key to maintaining Taiwan’s defense Tobias Burgers

photo: John Linzmeier Airmen from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron perform a helo casting jump during an amphibious exercise off the coast of Okinawa.


aiwan’s position of defense advantage vis-à-vis China has, over the last two decades, largely faded. Before the turn of the millennium it still had significant military capabilities against China, and the general consensus was that Taiwan would be capable of defending itself and defeating any attempted Chinese invasion of the island. However, as a result of the growth of the People’s Liberation Army—growth which can be largely at-

China (ROC) on Taiwan seems and sounds more modest compared to what it was a decade or two ago. It currently argues that it should seek to defend itself, try to inflict as many losses as possible, and undertake a sustained insurgency campaign. In this approach, it is hoped that a prolonged battle, which would follow after a successful invasion, would be too costly in economic, diplomatic and political terms for China to sustain in the long term. At the same

tributed to its increased defense budget which has doubled over the last decade—China would now have the military upper hand in a cross-strait conflict. Indeed, the defense strategy of the Republic of

time there is a common understanding within the Taiwanese defense establishment that, without the support of outside powers—foremost among them the United States, and alternatively Japan—Taiwan

Tobias Burgers is a doctoral candidate at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of the Free University Berlin, he also conducts research for CRISP Berlin on conflict situations. He can be reached at


would not be able to defend itself, let alone achieve victory, in a long-term campaign. The situation of military imbalance between China and Taiwan is not likely to change anytime soon. Although China has in recent months suffered from a number of economic setbacks and its economic growth has declined, it still has formidable economic growth and its military build-up, as witnessed in the recent victory day parade, is impressive and is only likely to increase in the future. Furthermore, the Taiwanese defense budget has changed little and it remains to be seen if Taiwan’s society would be willing to invest more in defense. At the present time a military conflict between the two nations is not directly imminent, and given the state of current relations, a conflict will not take place anytime soon. However, Taiwan should nevertheless ensure that its defense capabilities remain up-to-date, and the current efforts within the administration of ROC President Ma Ying-jeou to acquire new military capabilities or enhance existing equipment illustrate that it indeed aims to maintain its defense capabilities. The recent acquisitions of Blackhawk helicopters and P-3 Orion patrol planes, and the desire to acquire attack submarines, all indicate this. These efforts are necessary, but at the same time Taiwan should seek alternative strategies in order to bolster its defense. Any such alternative should be primarily centered around the idea that any possible amphibious invasion by China should be as costly to Beijing as possible.

Cost effective The concept of swarming would provide Taiwan with a strategy that could significantly bolster its defenses. A number of reasons exist why the strategy of swarming should be seriously considered by the Taiwanese defense establishment. First, from an economic perspective, the pursuit of a swarming strategy would be a cost-effective approach. The initial step to develop

swarming capabilities would be costly. However, the swarming strategy leans heavily on the deployment of many small and cheap unmanned systems, rather than large, manned and costly systems. The price range for small armed unmanned systems (UAV and UUV) is somewhere between thousands of dollars to several hundred thousand dollars. While this might at first glance seem costly, it would be significantly less expensive compared to the development and deployment of attack submarines, for example, which are expected to cost somewhere between US$600 million and US$1 billion for a single submarine, notwithstanding their operational costs.

New capabilities Second, from a social and political perspective, the deployment of unmanned swarms can offer a further benefit: The absence of manned operators reduces, though does not eliminate, the risk of human casualties, which in itself is already an aim worth pursuing. Furthermore, in an age in which Taiwan’s younger generations are not too keen on joining the military, the concept of a more digital, tech savvy, highly technological, and non-lethal job assignment might just convince more young people to consider a career in the armed forces. Third, the technology to develop and deploy swarms might currently still be difficult, but Taiwan has the necessary technological capabilities to acquire and develop the skills and capabilities to develop swarming vessels in large numbers. The recent demonstration of its indigenous Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) during the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) illustrates the technological capabilities of Taiwanese defense manufacturers and gives hope that the needed technological requirements can be developed by its defense indus-

asymmetric advantage  b  21

photo: Samuel Weldin Sailors at Misawa Air Base in Japan assemble inert training mines during an exercise. Naval mines present a deadly threat to ships at sea.

try. Additionally, as swarming technology depends to a high degree on advanced software, the military establishment should consider seeking a collaborator relationship with the civil technological sector. Taiwan’s civil software sector is highly advanced and considered among the world’s best. It is a source of potential the defensive establishment should tap. Beyond its indigenous sector, the defense establishment might seek cooperation with other friendly partners, such as the United States and Japan, both of which have a highly advanced robotics and software sector. Given the political situation and the expected Chinese backlash, this might be a difficult move, but if Japan’s increasing efforts to balance against China are taken into account, it is one that should be considered, possibly in a non-governmental framework.

Outlook unclear Fourth and most important is the possible military advantage of swarming strategies. China, and few other nations for that matter, have not yet developed

capabilities to effectively defend against swarming tactics. Current defensive systems focus foremost on countering large threats in double-digit numbers. Here lays in essence the greatest benefit of the

“It remains to be seen if Beijing can effectively develop systems that could counter maritime swarms.” swarming strategy: the overwhelming of the adversary’s defensive capabilities. Furthermore, the defense against swarming strategies is often a costly affair. Missiles and other systems are often expensive to deploy. This is probably best illustrated by Israel’s Iron Dome system: A single missile costs approximately US$100,000, whereas any Hamas rocket generally costs somewhere between US$500 and US$1,000. As such, defending against swarming would very rapidly become a costly affair that militaries might not be able to afford and sustain. This situation could change if laser-based weapons were employed. However, the development and operational use of laser weapons


photo: Aaron Jensen Taiwan’s ability to produced unmanned systems is highlighted by the recent development of the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV.

still will take many years to develop. Until weapons of this nature become operational, swarming vessels have the clear offensive advantage. Swarming tactics should be foremost used in air and seaborne operations. In air operations the development of unmanned systems has advanced the furthest among the four sectors, which would make it less complicated to create small UAV systems capable of utilizing swarming strategies. Furthermore, the limited degree of possible natural barriers in the air further favors the development of UAV swarms.

Although aerial swarming operations would be the easiest to achieve, it is in the seaborne sector that

defense mechanisms possible. Second, naval vessels are most vulnerable underwater, thereby achieving the maximum result. Third and finally, China has limited Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities. This will change in the future, yet it remains to be seen if Beijing can effectively develop systems that could counter maritime swarms. A prime example of the systems envisioned here could be the current generation of maritime swarm vessels under development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the US armed forces research arm, which is developing sea pods. These automated unmanned systems remain at the bottom of the sea until the order is given to deploy. Such systems are highly suitable for Taiwan. Similar to mines, these pods are hidden so deep that the People’s

the application of a swarming strategy could achieve the best results. First, it would allow unmanned systems to hide in the water, thereby achieving a degree of stealth that would be highly valuable in a conflict. Numerous automated (and possible preprogrammed) swarms of vessels arising from the sea bottom would pose a significant threat, with few

Liberation Army Navy would have difficulty detecting and subsequently defending against them. As such, the strategy of swarming would not need to be deployed operationally, but rather should be envisioned as cost-effective approach which would, to some degree, enable Taiwan to increase its deterrence vis-à-vis the Chinese armed forces. n

Potent possibilities

b  23

Strategic Vision vol. 4, no. 23 (October, 2015)

Regional Resolve Anti-piracy efforts in Malacca Strait provide lessons in maritime cooperation Suchittra Ritsakulchai

photo: Walter M. Wayman US and Japanese ships steam in formation with the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis following an undersea warfare exercise in the Pacific.


he Strait of Malacca is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, and between the Malaysian Peninsula and Indonesia’s island of Sumatra. This strait is the most important sea transportation route in Southeast Asia. From the past to the present, maritime transportation through the strait has operated at low cost while moving large quantities of goods. Statistics show that international trade depends on maritime transport

is, an important commercial passageway between China and India. The Malacca Strait is an important choke point which ultimately links Asia to the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East, and the important ports of Europe. In the wake of the 9-11 attacks, this crucial passage has suffered from bad propaganda and been deemed a high-risk area due to its image of being a piracyprone area, and the perceived threat of terrorism in

for more than 95 percent of all goods, especially energy products such as petroleum and natural gas from the oil-producing countries, which are shipped from the Middle East to Northeast Asia. It was, and still

its waters. Media coverage speculating on links between piracy and terrorist attacks in fan the flames of fear. The custodians of the strait face an array of challenges, but the major concern remains ensuring

Suchittra Ritsakulchai is a Ph.D. student in the International Doctoral Program in Asia-Pacific Studies at National Chengchi University. She can be reached for comment at


safe passage for the vessels traversing these waters. Already saddled with the threat of piracy, which has long been a bane for users along the waterway, the potential threats from terrorism and war increase the burdens on the littoral states to maintain security in the waterway. Moreover, the intense concentration of cargo traffic in the strait has spawned a complex web of hub-and-feeder shipping networks within the region and with the rest of the world. The strait thus presents opportunities to both pirates and terrorists. Piracy and maritime terrorism in the Malacca Strait has long been a threat to ship owners and mariners in the sea lanes. The Strait of Malacca’s geography makes the region very vulnerable, and attractive, to continued piracy. The special character of the strait is defined by its narrow, shallow chokepoint, its thousands of islets, and its numerous river outlets, making it ideal for pirates to hide in and evade capture. The pattern of operation which pirates have developed in Southeast Asia to perform “maritime terrorism” is to target vessels on the open ocean, as well as other locations such as docks, barges, and navigation systems. This threat not only increases insecurity in the maritime transportation system but also dam-

ages the economy. Kidnapping remains one of the most common aspects of piracy, particularly given the great danger it poses to crew members. The current practice is for the employers of kidnapped crews to pay ransoms for their release. It is widely acknowledged by experts in this field that not only does paying ransom encourage further kidnappings, but the ransom money often goes to finance weaponry to be used in further attacks. A policy of non-negotiation with kidnappers must be adopted to make kidnapping a non-profitable industry. Piracy also causes environmental problems. During vessel takeover, the structure of the ship can sometimes sustain damage, which can lead to fuel leaks. If pirates take control of a vessel in an attempt to sail it to an alternative port, the limited maritime skill of these pirates sometimes leads to accidents or instances of vessels running aground on reefs or in other sensitive areas. International pressure has been exerted on the littoral states, in particular on Indonesia and Malaysia, to address the problem of piracy. This effort began in 2000, when piracy attacks peaked in the Malacca

photo: US Pacific Command US and Laotian personnel pose during infection and epidemiology training in Vientiane, Laos. Such efforts improve disaster-response capabilities.

regional resolve  b  25

Strait, and increased even more following the events of 9-11. At this time, both Japan and the United States took a greater interest in the region, and indicated a desire to participate in enhancing security in the waterway.

Taking action In light of these problems, several maritime security initiatives were introduced in the Malacca Strait between 2004 and 2007. Although significant, they have arguably been constrained in their scope and capability by both the unwillingness of some of the littoral states to cooperate fully and also because of resource shortages. Nonetheless, these developments provide an important framework for the evolution of current cooperation. The first multilateral measure to be introduced by the three littoral states was the Trilateral Coordinated Patrol, codenamed MALSINDO. Launched in July 2004, this agreement calls for the navies of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore to patrol their waters in a coordinated fashion. Following the introduction of this new measure, however, there was a lack of a provision for cross-border pursuit into each of the participating state’s territorial waters, which has been cited as the main flaw of this measure. Cross-border pursuit would have been viewed by the participating states as a violation of their sovereignty. In September 2005, the initiation of joint air patrols over the strait by the littoral states marked another important step in combating piracy. The three states each donated two planes for the patrols, known as the Eyes in the Sky (EiS) plan. The plan permits aircraft to fly for up to three nautical miles into the twelvenautical-mile territorial waters of the participating states; it was hoped that this measure would provide a valuable supplement to the trilaterally coordinated sea patrols, which were limited to their own territorial waters.

Politically, EiS was significant because it was the first time the littoral states had been willing to put aside concerns over the sovereignty of their territorial waters and allow foreign forces to cross the border. This compromise included the agreement that each patrolling aircraft would have on board a representative from each of the three littoral states. Later, in April 2006, both MALSINDO and EiS were brought together under the umbrella of the Malacca Strait Patrols. The most recent antipiracy initiative to be implemented was the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Anti-Piracy (ReCAAP), which came into force in 2006. The agreement, which encompasses the whole region, was drafted in 2004 and required the signatures and ratification of 10 of the participating countries. All the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations added plus Japan, China, Korea, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka supported the agreement. The aim of the initiative, which is the first antipiracy measure to be implemented on

“The question of safety of navigation and the security of the maritime zones remain of interest to all nations.” a government-to-government level, is to foster multilateral cooperation to combat the threat of piracy and armed robbery against ships. Its activity takes the form of information sharing, capacity building, and cooperative arrangements. During this period of increased multilateral activity among the littoral states, another process has been under way at the international level. Cooperation under the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) was initiated in 2004 with the aim of promoting a comprehensive approach to security, safety, and pollution control in critical sea-lanes around the world. Known as the “Protection of Vital Sea lanes” initiative, it takes as its current focus the Strait of Malacca and


photo: Juan Bustos US Marines take aim during Exercise PHIBLIX 15 in Crow Valley, Philippines. Such exercises help combat terrorism and piracy in the region.

Singapore. A series of meetings was convened under the title “Strait of Malacca and Singapore: Enhancing Safety, Security and Environmental Protection,” the first of which occurred in Jakarta in 2005. This was followed by another meeting in Kuala Lumpur in 2006, and then one a year later in Singapore.

Maritime security is a complex issue. While in the past, issues primarily concerned military confrontation and conflict, today’s maritime concerns include such problems as organized crime, environmental degradation, sea piracy, armed robbery against ships, smuggling, hijacking, illegal immigration, search and rescue and the potential threat of maritime terrorism. Due to the continued dependence

such region which could benefit from increased cooperation is the South China Sea. Although some of the security problems in the South China Sea are similar to those of the Malacca Strait, there has been little in the way of multinational effort to address the problems. Initiatives developed to combat piracy in the Malacca Strait could be developed and enlarged in order to address problems in the South China Sea. ReCAAP is the largest organization devoted to antipiracy and its members include those nations which have a stake in stability in the South China Sea. Thus, ReCAAP is well situated to expand its mission to include problems which affect the South China Sea. The MALSINDO and EiS initiatives could also benefit nations which have a claim in the South China Sea. By tackling piracy, and other maritime problems,

of global commerce on safe and secure sea lines of communication to effectively move people, goods, and services, the question of safety of navigation and the security of the maritime zones remain of interest to all nations. The example of cooperative security in the Malacca Strait may hold lessons for other regions as well. One

with joint patrols, which are allowed to cross national borders, the nations in the region would essentially be engaging in a type of Confidence Building Measure. The lessons, trust, and institutions developed from such an activity could have positive spillover effects for the region and help produce solutions for larger, long-term challenges in the South China Sea. n

Applying lessons


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Strategic Vision, Issue 23  

Strategic Vision is a journal published by NCCU's Center for Security Studies and the ROC National Defense University that provides analysis...

Strategic Vision, Issue 23  

Strategic Vision is a journal published by NCCU's Center for Security Studies and the ROC National Defense University that provides analysis...

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