Coping with Defense in an Era of Tight Budgets
Andrew Nien-Dzu Yang
Vice Minister of National Defense for Policy
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou has observed that cross-Strait reconciliation not only can bring peace and prosperity but also constitutes Taiwan’s first line of defense and security. At the same time, maintaining strong national defense is an essential pillar to deter external threats and to support peaceful engagement. This requires continuous modernization not only of weapons systems but of personnel training and skills, especially as Taiwan moves toward an all-volunteer force. At an event hosted by the Stimson Center, Vice Minister Andrew Yang addressed Taiwan’s efforts to square the circle between ensuring sufficient capability for meaningful self-defense and the maintenance of credible deterrence while coping with tight financial resources.
Andrew Yang is currently Taipei’s vice minister of national defense for policy. One of Taiwan’s leading defense intellectuals, he has been a faculty member at National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung for 25 years and a national security adviser for several government departments. A prolific writer on national security and foreign policy, Vice Minister Yang is also a recognized expert on the People’s Liberation Army. For nearly 20 years before assuming his present post, he led numerous conferences and studies on these topics in his capacity as secretary general of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taipei, which he founded in 1991. He holds an M.A. in industrial sociology from the University of Reading as well as an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.