Taiwan's Defense Policy in the Trump Era

Friday, June 2, 2017
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Goldman Room, 4th Floor

Encina Hall

616 Serra St.

  • Michael S. Chase

Michael Chase

This event is co-sponsored by the Taiwan Democracy Project and the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative.



Taiwan's defense policy faces several daunting challenges. President Tsai has inherited a complex security situation from her predecessors. The DPP's defense policy blue papers, published prior to Taiwan's January 2016 election, and Taiwan's newly published Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) outline President Tsai's plans for Taiwan's defense policy. Some of the major defense policy issues Taiwan must face under President Tsai include uncertainties about US Asia policy and Trump's approach to handling relations with China, growing Chinese military capabilities and increasing Chinese air and naval activities around Taiwan, defense budget constraints, and problems associated with Taiwan's attempt to transition to an all-volunteer military. Taiwan's proposed responses as outlined in the 2017 QDR include a defense strategy of "Resolute defense, multi-domain deterrence" and strengthening the island's domestic defense industries, a project that has both defense policy and economic implications. This presentation will assess Taiwan's approach and consider the implications for US policy in Asia.



Michael S. Chase is a senior political scientist at RAND, a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and an adjunct professor in the China Studies and Strategic Studies Departments at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C.

A specialist in China and Asia-Pacific security issues, he was previously an associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, where he served as director of the strategic deterrence group in the Warfare Analysis and Research Department and taught in the Strategy and Policy Department. Prior to joining the faculty at NWC, he was a research analyst at Defense Group Inc. and an associate international policy analyst at RAND. He is the author of the book Taiwan's Security Policy and numerous chapters and articles on China and Asia-Pacific security issues. His work has appeared in journals such as Asia Policy, Asian Security, China Brief, Survival, and the Journal of Strategic Studies.

His current research focuses on Chinese military modernization, China's nuclear policy and strategy and nuclear force modernization, Taiwan's defense policy, and Asia-Pacific security issues. Chase holds a Ph.D. in international affairs and M.A. in China Studies from SAIS and a B.A. in politics from Brandeis University. In addition, he studied Chinese at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China.