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Taiwan outlines requirement for enhanced asymmetric warfare capability

Growth in Taiwan's defence expenditure is forecast by JDB to slow down in the next few years. JDB figures include funding for veterans' affairs and other defence funds. (Janes Defence Budgets)

Taiwan's National Defense Report 2023 has highlighted how the country is trying to learn lessons from the Ukraine-Russia war in ramping up its own multidomain and asymmetric military capabilities in preparing for any conflict with China.

The biennial policy paper – published by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Taipei on 12 September – also confirms short-term investment in funding for military capabilities that will enhance the sea and air combat resilience of the Republic of China (RoC) Armed Forces.

“[China] is progressively enhancing its capabilities to invade Taiwan,” the report said. “Facing this situation, the RoC Armed Forces have to absorb the lessons learned from the example of asymmetric warfare as shown in the Russia-Ukraine war, exploit geographic advantages in the form of island defence, seek suitable force buildup initiatives, and maintain combat readiness.”

Taiwan's strategy to maintain combat readiness will be to achieve a “multidomain deterrence” in asymmetric operations, it said. The report defined asymmetric warfare as the ability to “attack or exploit enemy weaknesses and disrupt enemy centers of gravity, instead of taking on its strengths”.

“Based on the concept of Taiwan defence operations and lessons learned from the Russo-Ukraine war, the [RoC] Armed Forces will ensure command, control, surveillance, and reconnaissance functions and fighting capabilities with enhanced mobility, dispersion, concealment, redundant, and decentralised commands during the course of operations,” the report said.

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