DPP releases 10 Year Policy Platform - National Security Strategy Chapter

The DPP has released the National Security Chapter of the 10 Year Policy Platform. The chapter is comprised of three parts (Trends and Challenges, Core Principles, and Policy Positions). Below is the full text translated into English.

I. Trends and challenges

The current trend in globalization will continue to develop for the next two generations. Under this trend, a visible world with traditional state boundaries will co-exist with an invisible societal network connected by mega-cities through information, capital, trade, technology, services, and migration. This in turn will strengthen the political, economic, social, and cultural connections between states, and deepen mutual dependence. At the same time, globalization will produce far more complex transnational and non-traditional security challenges, such as wealth disparity, climate change, energy shortages, economic crises, and terrorism. These challenges will impact in an unprecedented way the form and governance of traditional states.

Under the broader trend of globalization, shifts in the axis of the world’s rapid economic growth and the changing flow of economic strength will promote the rise of emerging powers, most notably, China, India and Russia, impacting the world’s geopolitical and strategic conditions. Even though it continues to be the world’s only superpower, the United States’ uni-polar dominance has eroded. An unbalanced, multi-polar international system is taking shape, with emerging and traditional powers seeking their own individual polarity where each has a role in determining world order alongside the United States. From a historical perspective, it is not yet clear how each emerging power can manage to form a new, more complex international system with existing powers. In the coming years, the rise of China will be a key factor in this dynamic.

In East Asia, the US-Japan security alliance has been one of the cornerstones of security, but China’s rise impacts this system, thus affecting the new regional security order. Such strategic developments and changes represent a reality that must be faced as Taiwan strives to maintain its national security goals of prosperous development, democratic freedom, and secure survival.

Due to historical factors, the two sides across the Strait have been in a long stalemate. Despite increasing exchanges over the past thirty years, the stalemate remains although in a more hidden form. At the core of the stalemate lies the dispute over sovereignty, and furthermore, the two sides continue to hold considerable differences in values, perspectives, and governing systems. Thirty years of interaction have complicated the situation across the Strait. The close involvement of economic engagement is unprecedented. Yet at the same time, their separate values, perspectives, and systems have not merged, and to some extent, even diverged.

Furthermore, with three decades of reform, China has risen with the ability to project power on a global level, but some indications show that China is entering a development stage where uncertainty exists in its political, economic, social, and cultural prospects. Political reform remains far away, economic development has moved in a direction of state capitalism, social divisions and conflicts are deepening, yet all while the ghosts of Maoism continue to hover over Chinese skies. Thus the international community is generally concerned about whether China, as it rises, will act as a “responsible stakeholder” in the new international system and play a role as a constructive global power, or try to achieve a “China rise” in the style of a “great national revival” that is inspired by an expansionist nationalism. China’s choice is relevant to global development, to regional peace and prosperity, and of course to Taiwan’s national security and development.

Since Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, his administration has ignored the complexities of the overall development of Chinese society. It has also neglected to preserve Taiwan’s subjectivity while interacting with other countries in a globalized world. Taiwan’s sovereignty has been degraded as the Ma government simplistically views China as the only path to rely upon for Taiwan’s security and development. It has gradually marginalized Taiwan’s security and development by making Taiwan a “dependent variable” in China’s uncertain development.

Since the days of world maritime navigation, Taiwan has been a part in globalization, and experience shows that Taiwan’s survival and prosperity are dependent on our ability to fully understand the broader historical environment and become part of it while making good use of our circumstances. At the moment, we, Taiwan, are situated in the middle of a continuously developing globalization trend, in addition to facing China and an evolving international system. In this evolution, China is not only a key determinant but also the most unpredictable factor, where the intentions and prospects of its rise are opaque and uncertain. For Taiwan, China is a possible opportunity for development, yet at the same time it carries an unfriendly attitude toward Taiwan’s sovereignty. All these conditions create the major challenges for Taiwan’s national security and development.

As a member of the global community, as Taiwan faces the opportunities and challenges brought upon by the development of globalization and the rise of China, Taiwan must responsibly look at the changes in the broader environment, and respond to these changes with new strategic thinking. Only then can Taiwan face up to challenges, maintain security and the dignity of its values while developing prosperity and contributing to peaceful development. As a party founded in this land, the Democratic Progressive Party is bound by this duty.

II. Core principles

Taiwan is a maritime country. Interconnectedness and openness to the outside world are key to the prosperity and development of Taiwan. In order to adapt to changes in the strategic environment resulting from the new wave of globalization, as well as to guarantee Taiwan’s safety, survival, prosperity and development, while protecting its values and dignity, the Democratic Progressive Party’s National Security Strategy contains the following principles:

1. Universal values of justice: Taiwan is a young democracy. The pursuit of the values of democracy, freedom, human rights and green development has been the principal driving force behind Taiwan’s democratization process. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that when it concerns foreign and security affairs, Taiwan should continue to uphold these principles of justice as the basis for international cooperation and exchange. Therefore, Taiwan has the right to participate fairly in international affairs and the sharing of resources, but it also has the duty to actively partake in and contribute to international cooperative efforts, and to do its best to fulfill its responsibilities as a member of the international community.

2. Balanced external relations: Taiwan’s development has always taken place through interactions with the whole world via unobstructed sea-lanes. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that in the era of globalization, Taiwan’s external relations should be conducted within global and regional frameworks that include the complete picture, developing a balanced global strategy, consolidating direct links to the globally networked society, actively partaking in global and regional security affairs, expanding regional collaboration, and building Taiwan’s political, economic, social, cultural and military and security networks.

3. A strategic approach of mutual interest: Close economic, social and cultural exchanges are already taking place between Taiwan and China. However, due to historical reasons, there still exists an unstable situation of strategic stalemate. This is not only detrimental to either party’s strategic interest in development, it is also a cause for concern about peace in East Asia. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that in order to safeguard peace and stability in the region, the two sides must seek to change the situation of strategic stalemate by going beyond historical constraints and using a strategic approach that allows for mutual benefit, in a way that is “peaceful yet different” and “peaceful while seeking commonality.”

4. Democratic consensus in society: Taiwan is a young, multi-ethnic and immigrant society with diverging opinions about national identity and a volatile social consensus. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that in order to build democratic public consensus and to strengthen a social and national identity that centers around modern citizenship, any foreign or security policy that concerns Taiwan’s core interests, including decisions about Taiwan’s future, changes in the current status of independence, as well as the formulation and implementation of important foreign policies, should be decided upon in accordance with the principles and procedures of democracy.

5. A secure defense mechanism: In addition to the Chinese military threat and China’s “Three Wars” approach (the legal, psychological, and public opinion wars), Taiwan also faces threats to its territory and environment, as well possible epidemics, destructive terrorist attacks and other non-traditional security threats. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that in response to both these new and these traditional security threats, we must strengthen the awareness of security issues among the people, build vigilance, and prepare a security and defense mechanism that can respond to military threats and crises, thereby ensuring Taiwan’s national security and the security of its people’s property.

III. Policy positions

1. Uphold universal values of fairness and justice to serve as a shared basis for international engagement: The biggest difference between Taiwan and Communist China lies in Taiwan’s pursuit of values such as freedom, democracy, and human rights. The Democratic Progressive Party advocates that Taiwan must conduct its exchanges with the international community, share its democratic experience, pursue progressive values, and create common strategic interests based on this moral foundation. On numerous transnational issues such as energy resource shortage, climate change, environmental pollution, poverty, epidemic prevention and terrorism, Taiwan as a member of the global village, albeit not a formal member of the relevant international organizations, should contribute and fulfill its international duties to the best of its ability in order to advance international harmony and promote the well being of humanity.

2. Reinforce the strategic partnership with the United States: The United States has occupied a decisive position in Taiwanese security affairs for a long time. A long-term and friendly relationship of strategic cooperation exists between the two countries. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that for the future, Taiwan must proceed to strengthen this strategic partnership, rebuild and deepen strategic mutual trust and strategic consensus, effectively coordinate Taiwan-U.S. interests in every respect, strengthen the institutional arrangements for Taiwan-U.S. engagement on security matters, and increase the depth and breadth of trade, social, and cultural cooperation.

3. Strengthen cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and protect regional peace: Because of geo-strategic and historical reasons, Taiwan has had close relations with Japan. South Korea, ASEAN, India and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region are currently facing the common challenge of a rising China. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that Taiwan should continue to deepen its ties with Japan, as well as actively intensify cooperation and dialogue with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, project soft power, enhance existing ties, strengthen trade and investment links, promote public diplomacy, advance closer exchange and cooperation between NGOs and other private entities, build closer political, economic, social, cultural and security relations, strengthen cooperation on regional affairs, and jointly safeguard security and peace in the region.

4. Build a stable mechanism through a strategic approach of mutual interest: The core of the problem in the cross-strait strategic stalemate concerns conflicts over sovereignty. We acknowledge that Beijing insists on its “One-China Principle” position. However, Beijing must also understand the reality that the Taiwanese people, having gone through the historical processes of freeing themselves from foreign rule and seeking democratization, are opposed to a one-party system and committed to upholding the independence of their sovereignty. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that Taiwan and China must reach an understanding that is based on reality and the fact that the two sides are different, yet at the same time express a shared desire for seeking commonality and strategic mutual interests, all with the goal of developing a stable mechanism that would benefit the pursuit of peaceful development on both sides.

5. Construct a framework for peaceful and stable interaction between Taiwan and China: The process of seeking strategic mutual interest between Taiwan and China must take place through exchange, dialogue, the settlement of differences, and conflict management. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that both sides, under the principles of equality and reciprocity, should engage in multilevel dialogue to exchange views on multilevel and multifaceted topics, and establish mechanisms for solving relevant issues. Through such mechanisms, and by gradually building a multilevel and multifaceted "cross-strait framework for peaceful and stable interaction" for dealing with issues, we seek to sustain a stable and constructive bilateral relationship.

6. Promote balanced China-Taiwan trade relations within the global trade picture: Ever since maritime navigation has taken off, Taiwan’s international trade activities have been balanced and outward-oriented. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that with the present trends in globalization, Taiwan should adopt a balanced approach toward its economic and trade strategy with cross-strait trading activities being an important part of its global outreach. Particularly at a time when China’s economic development is moving more and more towards a special type of state capitalism centered around powerful elites, Taiwan should conduct its dealings with China in concert with the rest of the world in order to respond to this special Chinese form of development.

7. Promote diverse diplomacy through soft power; obtain the support of the international community: Taiwan is a country that successfully transitioned from an authoritarian developing state to a developed young democracy, and one which has gathered considerable experience in terms of economy, values, culture, and technology. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that Taiwan should value this kind of soft power, as well as put the power of civil society to use, promote diverse diplomacy, and tell the international community the success-story of how 23 million Taiwanese people pursued democracy, freedom and justice under unfavorable circumstances at home and abroad. Taiwan should also strive to obtain the support of the international community, actively participate in international humanitarian relief efforts and contribute to finding a solution for transnational issues such as climate change, environmental pollution, poverty, and the prevention of epidemics.

8. Advance multifaceted social and cultural exchanges between Chinese and Taiwanese civil society: The robustness of Taiwanese civil society is an important foundation for Taiwan’s successful democratization. Over the past few years, there have been indications that China’s civil society has been slowly and painfully growing, and that it may turn into an important factor for China’s developing in a more positive direction. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that in light of the experience in Taiwan that civil society has played a positive role in its historical development, Taiwan should be concerned with the development of civil society in China, and promote multilevel and multifaceted social and cultural exchanges and dialogue between the civil societies of both sides.

9. Demonstrate the commitment for self-defense, and strengthen the military to protect Taiwan: “Peaceful development” and reconciliation may be the current mainstream talking points. However, we cannot depend solely on the other side’s benevolence for “peace.” Instead, the Taiwanese people must demonstrate a will and a commitment to self-defense to obtain peace. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that in order to safeguard Taiwan’s peace, security, as well as to protect its people’s lives and property, Taiwan must continue to make preparations for a security and defense mechanism that can respond to Chinese hostility or threats to Taiwan’s territorial security. Furthermore, Taiwan must continue to engage in a transformation of its national defense, build renewed awareness of security among its citizens, integrate resources effectively, advance overall military capabilities, and improve contingency response measures.

10. Actively participate in regional security matters; strengthen regional security cooperation and exchanges: In a globalizing world, security matters increasingly require transnational cooperation. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that Taiwan must assure the international community that it will neither develop nor deploy weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and biological weapons. Taiwan should also seek to expand cooperation with nearby Asia Pacific countries by strengthening transnational cooperation on counter-terrorism and cyberspace security, as well as playing a more active role in international humanitarian aid programs and safeguarding the security of navigation through international waters.

11. Improve maritime law, and manage Taiwan as a maritime country: Taiwan is a maritime country. In order to effectively defend its rights and interests, improve the management of maritime resources, and adapt to changing circumstances, Taiwan must improve legislation of the maritime legal system based on a “Basic Law of the Sea” as soon as possible. Secondly, in order to manage and operate maritime resources effectively, to protect maritime rights and interests, and to strengthen international exchange and cooperation on maritime affairs, Taiwan should promptly integrate and reorganize the decision-making and administrative mechanisms related to maritime affairs.

12. Establish a multilateral consultation mechanism to cooperate in maritime resource development: Taiwan is surrounded by seas on all sides. The surface area of its territorial waters is larger than its land surface, while the waters that are marked as Exclusive Economic Zones are even larger. However, due to the fact that the surrounding countries have different views on rights involving maritime space and the use of related resources, conflict occasionally arises. Therefore, Taiwan’s maritime sovereignty and the right to use its maritime resources are under constant threat. The Democratic Progressive Party believes that the disputes and conflicts related to waters surrounding Taiwan, including the South China Sea, should be resolved by those countries whose interests are affected, as well as within a multilateral framework, and in the spirit of “joint development and setting aside controversies.” The DPP supports the establishment of a multi-lateral consultation and dispute settlement mechanism under international law to enable cooperation in areas such as maritime resource development, pollution prevention, and navigation security, with the goal of jointly maintaining the sustainability of maritime resources as well as peace and security on the seas.