Taiwan's military struggles to adapt as China threat grows

Historical KMT links have hobbled the pace of reforms as former defence chief questions Tsai’s understanding of the concept of ‘asymmetric’ defence strategy.

The struggle to reform has taken on a sudden urgency as China is ratcheting up military pressure. PHOTO: AFP
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Taiwan's former top military official issued a dire warning last week. The armed forces lacked a clear strategy to defend the island against a Chinese attack and the president might not understand the conceptual thinking needed to counter that threat, said Admiral (Ret) Lee Hsi-ming, former chief of the general staff.

"Think strategically! Don't limit yourself to thinking about operational details!" Adm Lee urged the military as he launched his new book that argues Taiwan must refocus on the "asymmetric" defence strategy he introduced but that has been diluted since he retired three years ago.

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