TOC Global Taiwan Brief - Vol. 7, Issue 1 (2022)

Russell Hsiao's picture

TOC Global Taiwan Brief - Vol. 6, Issue 5 (2021)

(This issue was originally published on the Global Taiwan Institute's website and the full articles are available at:

Editor's Column
New Opinion Polls Highlight Trends in Taiwan’s Will to Fight and Its Partisan Divide

By: Russell Hsiao

The question of whether the people of Taiwan have the will to fight to defend themselves against a Chinese military invasion remains a critical question for strategists in Washington, Taipei—and Beijing. “Arguably, will to fight [emp. added] is the single most important factor in war,” according to a RAND study published in 2018. Indeed, Chinese strategists have long emphasized the stratagem to “win without fighting” (不戰而屈人之兵), a key component of which is breaking the people of Taiwan’s will to fight. As concerns over a possible Chinese invasion increase with tensions across the strait at their highest point since 1996, the question of the Taiwanese spirit to fight is now more relevant than ever. New polling data from two organizations within Taiwan, released within days of each other near the end of 2021, shed light on the trendlines in public sentiments concerning this critical question. The survey results offer conflicting results that raise questions about the underlying implications. 

Deterrence by Uncertainty: A New Defense Posture for Taiwan
By: Eric Chan

Recent debates over Taiwan defense posture have led to the spawning of a veritable zoo of strategies named after animals: the porcupine, the pit-viper, and the poison-frog. These differing strategies come from disagreements over the nature of asymmetry and deterrence. Furthermore, these discussions are made even more complicated by several other factors.
Xi’s Top Taiwan Hand Targets ‘Hostile Forces’ in Taiwan’s ‘Green’ and ‘Blue’ Camps
By: J. Michael Cole

In December 2021, the head of an influential think tank in Beijing argued that not only pro-Taiwan independence members in Taiwan’s “green camp,” but also anti-communist elements within the “blue camp,” should be treated by Beijing as “hostile forces” to China. The Tainan-born Wang Yifu (汪毅夫), president of the Beijing-based National Society of Taiwan Studies (NSTS, 全國台灣研究會), a think tank regarded as Chinese Communist Party (CCP, 中國共產黨) General Secretary Xi Jinping’s (習近平) top think tank on Taiwan affairs, made the argument in a December 15 commentary published by the Hong Kong-based China Review News (中國評論新聞).
What’s Next in US-Taiwan Technology Relations?
By: Erik M. Jacobs

In December 2021, US Secretary of Commerce (DOC) Gina Raimondo and Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) announced that the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO)—in partnership with DOC’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)’s Bureau of Trade (BOFT)—will cooperate through a new Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (TTIC) Framework that aims to strengthen critical supply chains, including semiconductor supply chains.
A Resilient Taiwan Needs Presidential Succession for Continuity of Government
By: Shirley Kan

In her new year's address, Republic of China (ROC) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) focused on a "Resilient Taiwan" (堅韌台灣) and "stable governance," but she did not discuss presidential succession—despite the fact that Taiwan faces China's "decapitation" among other threats. If Taiwan is to be resilient, then leaders across parties need to establish a clear, credible, and comprehensive plan for presidential succession. A behind-the-scenes succession list apparently exists. A "porcupine" is useless if its head is cut off, which is one of the reasons that this author objects to this over-used analogy for Taiwan's defense. How can Taiwan proactively ensure continuity of its leadership, government, and military command and operations?
Democracy vs. “Democracy”: A Turbulent 2022 in the Taiwan Strait
By: Michael Mazza

The year 2022 could be the 21st century’s most turbulent year yet for cross-Strait relations. Although China’s employment of coercive tactics has become the rule rather than the exception in recent years, the political calendars in Taiwan and China intersect in ways that may be conducive to even greater tensions in the months ahead. 

* The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Global Taiwan Institute.

If you are interested in publishing with GTI, please send your CV and a writing sample to

To receive all our updates directly in your inbox, you can subscribe here: