Fragile Partnership: Taiwan’s Pol-Mil Relations, 2000-2008

Illustrated by five major encounters between the civilian and senior military officer during 2000-2008 — including the initiation of doctrinal innovation (2000), implementation of the 2001 U.S. arms sale package (2002-2004), removal of the “two Chiangs” symbolic legacy (2006-2008), institutionalization of the annual Yu Shan Exercise (2006-2008), and establishment of the Taiwan-Go Company (2007-2008) – Dr. York Chen offers an original and telling analysis of Taiwan’s political-military relations over the course of Chen Shui-bian’s Administration. He demonstrates Chen Shui-bian’s total or partial failure to attain his intended policy goals in four out of the five encounters was the result of the weaker power position of the administration vis a vis the military, his hampered leadership, and various institutional designs that resulted in limited political space within which to maneuver.  He also provides some suggestions for building well-balanced political-military relations in Taiwan in the future.

Dr. York W. Chen received his PhD from Lancaster University, United Kingdom. He was a defense policy assistant to a member of Taiwan’s legislature (1996-1999), a deputy researcher in the National Security Council (2003-2004), and a member of the policy staffs to both Vice Defense Ministers Michael Tsai and Henry Ko (2004-2006). He was assigned as the Senior Advisor of the National Security Council (2006-2008). Dr. Chen now teaches at Tamkang University in Taiwan.   


Contact Timothy Hamlin with any questions at (202) 478-3445

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