Republic of China Armed Forces
|Republic of China Armed Forces|
Zhōnghuá Mínguó Guójūn (Mandarin)
Tiong-huâ Bîn-kok Kok-kun (Hokkien)
Chûng-fà Mìn-koet Koet-kiûn (Hakka)
|Founded||16 June 1924|
|Current form||25 December 1947|
|Headquarters||Ministry of Defense Building, Zhongshan District, Taipei|
|Commander-in-Chief||President Tsai Ing-wen|
|Minister of National Defense||Chiu Kuo-cheng|
|Chief of the General Staff||General Chen Pao-yu|
|Active personnel||165,000 (ranked 30th)|
|Budget||US$13.1 billion (2020)|
|Percent of GDP||2.3% (2020 est.)|
|Republic of China Armed Forces|
|Literal meaning||Chinese Republic National Army|
|Shorter name: National Army|
|Former name: National Revolutionary Army|
The Taiwanese Armed Forces, officially known as the Republic of China Armed Forces, are the armed forces of the Republic of China (ROC) now on Taiwan, encompassing the Army, Navy (including the Republic of China Marine Corps), Air Force and Military Police Force. The military is under the civilian control of the Ministry of National Defense and oversight by the Legislative Yuan. It was the National Revolutionary Army before being renamed as the Republic of China Armed Forces in 1947 due to the implementation of the newly promulgated Constitution of the Republic of China. It was also historically known as Chinese National Armed Forces (CNAF).
Until the 1970s, the military's primary mission was to retake mainland China from the communist People's Republic of China (PRC) through Project National Glory. The military's current foremost mission is the defense of the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other ROC islands against a possible military invasion by the People's Liberation Army of the PRC, which is seen as the predominant threat to the ROC in the ongoing dispute over the political status of Taiwan.
When the ROC was in power in mainland China, its army was the National Revolutionary Army until 1947. Other names during the period included the "Chinese Nationalist Army" or the "KMT Army". The nationalization of the armed forces in 1947 detached the Kuomintang's direct control of the armed forces, and it became a national defense force. Due to the institution of civilian control of the military and the 1947 constitution, it was later renamed the Republic of China Armed Forces.
Origin and nationalization
The Republic of China's army was known as the National Revolutionary Army, which was founded on mainland China in 1925. The National Revolutionary Army was the military arm of Kuomintang (Nationalist Party - KMT) from 1925 until 1947 in the Republic of China. It also become the regular army of the ROC during the KMT's period of party rule beginning in 1928.
However, with the promulgation of the second Constitution of the Republic of China in 1947 and the formal end of the KMT party-state, the National Revolutionary Army was renamed the Republic of China Armed Forces (中華民國國軍), while the bulk of its forces formed the Republic of China Army. The army was nationalized and thus no longer belonged to the KMT. The ROC Armed Force relocated to the island of Taiwan after the end of the second phase of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
The Land force was established in 1924. It can be traced back to the establishment of the Whampoa Military Academy in Canton by 1911 revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen and built as the National Revolutionary Army, the military arm of KMT. Whampoa Military Academy was relocated to Fengshan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan after 1949. It was re-established as the Republic of China Military Academy (中華民國陸軍軍官學校), and modeled after the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
The Navy of the Qing dynasty was first exposed to Western influence. With the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, many former Qing-naval officers agreed with the revolutionary ideal of Xinhai and joined the ROC Navy. However, with warlordism continuing to plague the territory of the Republic of China, the development of the Republican navy was somewhat slow. Furthermore, there were internal conflicts during its development. During the 2nd Sino-Japanese war, most of the ROC Navy was destroyed by the Imperial Japanese Navy. In 1946 the Republic of China Naval Academy was established in Shanghai; it was relocated to Taiwan in 1949.
ROC Marine Corps
The ROC Marine Corps was formed from the former Navy Sentry Corps in December 1914, it used to have two divisions, 66th and 99th divisions, in size, when its doctrine focused on retaking mainland China. Since its transition to a defensive posture, the ROCMC has been downsized from about 38,000 active personnel to only 9,000. In 2004, the ROCMC redeployed a brigade near the Taipei area to defend against a possible PLA decapitation strike. The ROC Marine Corps' official motto is "永遠忠誠" (Forever Loyalty), modeled after the US Marine Corps's "Semper Fidelis".
ROC Air Force
In 1920 Sun Yat-sen established the Aviation Ministry in Canton (Guangdong Province). But due to the division of the Southern Warlords, it was later dismantled. In 1929, Chiang Kai-shek established the Aviation Class in the ROC Military Academy. It was relocated to Hangzhou in 1931. Following the outbreak of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War, the ROC Air Force was responsible for shooting down many Japanese Air force fighters. After 1949 the ROC Air Force Academy was relocated to Taiwan island.
ROC Military Police
The ROC Military Police was established in 1914 when Sun Yat-sen assumed the provisional presidency. It was established as a police guard and to maintain discipline within the army. In 1932 the nationalist government established the "Command Work of Military Police" (憲兵勤務令) and the Service Procedure for the Military Police (憲兵服務章程), which established the military police system. In 1936, the Military police Academy was founded in Nanjing. The school relocated to Taiwan after 1949.
Rise of the PRC
In the 21st century as the PRC vastly increased its defense spending, the Republic of China registered the lowest growth in defense spending of the major Asia-Pacific powers. These cutbacks were felt as vital land based systems were cut in order to afford an upgrade of aging fourth generation jet fighters (needed to respond to the PRC's fifth generation fighter programs). And even the jet fighter upgrades were cut back in areas such as high performance jet engines. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission found that these defense cuts could jeopardize Taiwan's military preparedness.
The ROC Armed Forces number approximately 300,000, and reserves reportedly total 3,870,000. Conscription remains universal for qualified males reaching the age of 18. Force streamlining programs under way since 1997 are combining redundant institutions and steadily reducing the military to 270,000 personnel by 2012. However, even then there would be compulsory basic training for all males reaching 18 years of age. As the size of the force decreases, the ROC intends to gradually expand the number of volunteer soldiers with the eventual goal of forming an all volunteer career force.
The ROC Armed Forces' officer corps is generally viewed as being competent, displaying a high degree of professionalism. However, as a whole, the culture in the officer corps tends to be very cautious and conservative. The military also faces difficulties in the recruitment and retention of junior officers and NCOs due to competition with the private sector. There are, however, plans to make it a volunteer armed forces.
The ROC Ministry of National Defence announced that the length of service was reduced to 4 months from the original 1 year in December 2011 for those born after 1 January 1994, due to aims to establish an all-volunteer force. As since, all able-bodied men reaching conscription age will undergo 4 month long military training instead of serving for 1 year, as it was done previously. Those born prior to 1 January 1994 and were yet to complete their military service were given an option to serve in a non-combatant role for a duration of one year.
Because of the historical legacy having once controlled mainland China, the army has traditionally been the most important of the ROC's military forces, although this has declined in recent years with the realization that the traditional army's role in defending against a PRC invasion is limited. As a result, recent force modernization programs have resulted in the reorganization of the Army into smaller units as a quick deployment mobile troops. For the same reason, more emphasis is being placed on the development of the Navy and Air Force, in order to fend off attacks in the Taiwan Strait, away from Taiwan proper.
Military branches and structure
The following service commands are directly subordinate to the General Staff, headed by the Chief of the General Staff, which answers to the civilian command structure under the Minister of Defense and the ROC President:
- Republic of China Army (ROCA)
- Republic of China Navy (ROCN)
- Republic of China Marine Corps (ROCMC)
- Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF)
- Republic of China Military Police (ROCMP)
The Coast Guard Administration was created in 2001 from related police and military units and is administered by the Executive Yuan and may be incorporated as a military branch during times of emergency but for the large part remains in civilian control.
There are also Combined Service Forces within the Republic of China military (army, navy, air force) such as Political Warfare Forces, Signaller, Combat medic, administrative, finance etc. The position of Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Service Forces exists in the Republic of China military. The last known person to hold this position was Muslim Lt. Gen. Ma Ching-chiang.
Arms purchases and weapons development
Acquisitions over the next several years will emphasize modern C 4 ISR equipment that will vastly improve communications and data-sharing among services. These and other planned acquisitions will gradually shift the island's strategic emphasis to offshore engagement of invading PRC forces. It is hoped that this will serve to reduce civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure in the event of armed conflict.
In 2001 the United States approved the sale of a number of weapons systems, including eight diesel submarines, six Patriot PAC-3 SAMs and 12 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Out of the items authorized, The ROC as of 2014[update] had four Kidd-class destroyers, M109A5 units, two additional E-2C Hawkeyes 2000 and nine CH-47SD Chinook heavy transport helicopters in service, with the 12 P-3C and 3 PAC-3 batteries being funded. It was unclear if or when the balance of the equipment would be supplied; the delivery of diesel submarines in particular was doubtful, as the United States does not manufacture them.
The military budget for 2007 (passed 16 June) included funds for the procurement of 12 P-3C Orion patrol aircraft, 66 F-16 C/D Block 52 fighters, the upgrade of existing PAC-2 batteries to PAC-3 standard and a feasibility study into the planned purchase of conventionally powered submarines offered by the US way back in 2001.
In July 2007 it was reported that the ROC Army would request the purchase of 30 AH-64D II Apache attack helicopters based on the 2008 defense budget. The United Daily News reported that as many as 90 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters would also be ordered to replace the UH-1Hs then in service.
During August, the ROC requested 60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles, 2 Harpoon guidance control units, 30 Harpoon containers, 30 Harpoon extended air-launch lugs, 50 Harpoon upgrade kits from AGM-84G to AGM-84L configuration and other related elements of logistics and program support, to a total value of US$125 million. The United States government indicated its approval of the order with notification to the United States Congress of the potential sale.
In mid-September 2007, the Pentagon notified the U.S. Congress of P-3C Orion order, which included 12 Orions and three "spare aircraft", along with an order for 144 SM-2 Block IIIA missiles. The total value of the 12 P-3C Orions were estimated at around $1.96 billion and $272 million for the 144 SM-2 missiles. A contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin to refurbish the 12 P-3C Orion aircraft for the ROC on 2009-03-13, with deliveries to start in 2012.
In mid-November 2007, the Pentagon notified the US Congress about a possible sale to upgrade the ROC's existing 3 Patriot missile batteries to the PAC-3 standard. The total value of the upgrade could be as much as $939 million.
The US government announced on 3 October that it planned to sell $6.5 billion worth of arms to the ROC ending the freeze of arms sales to the ROC. The plans include $2.5 billion worth of 30 AH-64D Block III Apache Longbow attack helicopters with night-vision sensors, radar, 174 Stinger Block I air-to-air missiles, 1,000 AGM-114L Hellfire missiles, PAC-3 missiles (330), 4 missile battery, radar sets, ground stations and other equipment valued up to $3.1 billion. 4 E-2T aircraft upgrade to E-2C Hawkeye 2000 was also included, worth up to $250 million. $200 million worth of submarine-launched Harpoon Block II missiles (32) would also be available for sale, $334 million worth of various aircraft spare parts and 182 Javelin missiles, with 20 Javelin command launchers.
However, not included in the arms sale were new F-16 C/D fighters, the feasibility study for diesel-electric submarines or UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The White House had declined to sell 66 F-16C/D fighter planes as US Pacific Command has felt no need for advanced arms to be sold to the ROC.
On 29 January 2010 the US government announced five notifications to US Congress for arms sales to the ROC, two Osprey class mine hunters for $105 million (all figures in US dollars), 25 Link 16 terminals on ships for $340 million, two ship- and two air-launched Harpoon L/II for $37 million, 60 UH-60M and other related items for $3.1 billion and three PAC-3 batteries with 26 launchers and 114 PAC-3 missiles for $2.81 billion, for a total $6.392 billion overall.
The ROC's efforts at arms purchases have consistently been opposed by the PRC.
Local Weapons Development
The military's light weapons are generally managed by Armaments Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense, whose manufacturing arm 205th Arsenal (第205廠) is responsible for developing and producing light weapons such as T65 assault rifle, T75 Light machine gun, T86 assault rifle, T91 assault rifle, T75 pistol, various types of bullets etc. 205th Arsenal had its historical roots from Suzhou Artillery Bureau (蘇州洋砲局) in 1864 during Qing dynasty, Jinling Arsenal(金陵兵工廠) in 1928 during the Nanjing decade when Republic of China was on mainland China, before evacuating to Taiwan in 1949.
The military has also stressed military "self-reliance," which has led to the growth of indigenous military production, producing items such as the ROC's Indigenous Defense Fighter, the Thunderbolt 2000 Multiple Launch Rocket System, Clouded Leopard Armoured Vehicle, the Sky Bow I and Sky Bow II SAMs and Hsiung Feng series of anti-ship missiles.
Reforms and development
Civilian control of the military
The modern day ROC military is styled after western military systems, mostly the US military. Internally, it has a political warfare branch/department that tightly controls and monitors each level of the ROC military, and reports directly to the General Headquarters of the ROC military, and if necessary, directly to the President of the ROC. This is a carryover from the pre-1949 era, when KMT and its army were penetrated by Communist agents repeatedly and led to frontline units defecting to Communist China. To strengthen their control over the military and prevent massive defection after retreating to Taiwan in 1949, CKS and CCK employed tight control over the military, by installing political officers and commissioners down to the company level, in order to ensure political correctness in the military and loyalty toward ROC leadership. This gave the political officers/commissars a great deal of power, allowing them to overrule the unit commander and take over the unit. Only in recent years has the political warfare department (due to cutbacks) reduced its power within the ROC military.
Two defense reform laws implemented in 2002 granted the civilian defense minister control over the entire military, and expanded legislative oversight authority for the first time in history. In the past the ROC military was closely linked with and controlled by the KMT (Nationalist Party). Following the democratization of the 1990s the military moved to a politically neutral position, though the senior officer ranks remained dominated by KMT members in 2001.
Doctrine and exercises
The primary goal of the ROC Armed Forces is to provide a credible deterrent against hostile action by establishing effective counterstrike and defense capabilities. ROC military doctrine in 2004 centered upon the principle of "offshore engagement" where the primary goal of the armed forces in any conflict with the PRC would be to keep as much of the fighting away from Taiwan proper for as long as possible to minimize damage to infrastructure and civilian casualties. As of 2004 the military had also begun to take the threat of a sudden "decapitation attack" by the PRC seriously. Consequently, there was growing emphasis on the role of the Navy and Air Force (where the Army had traditionally dominated); as well as the development of rapid reaction forces and quick mobilization of local reserve forces.
China has removed the phrase "peaceful" in official government documents regarding plans to take back Taiwan. The Taiwanese military is made up of 290,000 personnel: 130,000 in the Army; 45,000 in the Navy and Marine Corps; and 80,000 in the Air Force. Though the Army had previously been the dominant service, the shift to a defensive orientation has shifted importance to the Navy and Air Force to conduct most fighting away from population centers. Given the current budgetary and numerical superiority of the Chinese military, Taiwan has moved towards an asymmetric anti-access/area denial system to imperil China's ability to operate in the Taiwan Strait rather than try to match its strength. The RoCN, which was once the most neglected force, has become the most important to defeat an invasion fleet. Combating the enemy fleet and sinking transport ships would take out large amounts of the ground invasion force and permanently degrade amphibious capabilities. Surface ships primarily consist of guided missile destroyers and frigates, as well as four dozen small, fast missile boats to take out much larger Chinese surface and amphibious ships. The RoCAF is optimized for air superiority and was once the more formidable of the two countries, but current Chinese technology investments have made China much more able to contest airspace. Air bases are likely to come under attack from some 1,500 Chinese conventional ballistic missiles in range of the island, with about 50 direct hits needed to put each one out of action. Taiwan has equipment to keep exposed bases operating while under fire with runway repair systems and mobile aircraft arresting systems. There are two underground air bases used by the RoCAF: Chiashan Air Force Base which is in a hollowed-out mountain that can protect 200 fighters and Chihhang Air Base which can protect 80 aircraft. The RoCAF operates a nationwide air defense network to engage targets anywhere over the mainland; some anti-aircraft missile batteries are also located in underground silos. The Army would only fight if Chinese forces manage to land and would engage in asymmetric warfare. With all these measures, Taiwan Minister of National Defense Yen Ming believed that the country would be able to hold off a Chinese invasion for at least one month.
In the late 2010s Taiwan's military adopted a new strategy called the Overall Defense Concept (ODC), according to The Diplomat "In short, the ODC is a holistically integrated strategy for guiding Taiwan’s military force development and joint operations, emphasizing Taiwan’s existing natural advantages, civilian infrastructure and asymmetrical warfare capabilities. It is designed to deter and, if necessary, defeat an invasion by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA)."
Taiwan has engaged in training with foreign forces, primarily American, for a long time but cooperation was stepped up after the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act in 2018. Exchanges between high ranking Taiwanese officers and their NATO counterparts have also been on the rise.
In 2011 and 2012 Taiwan worked with the EU's Naval Force in Operation Atalanta to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia. Since then exchanges and information sharing has continued, between 2011 and 2015 EU anti-piracy officials made five visits to Taiwan.
In the 1970s the Republic of China trained Guatemalan officers involved in rights violations.
There is no official cooperation between the ROC military and the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF). The JSDF has sent observers to the digital part of the annual Han Kuang Exercise. New Japanese military legislation came into effect in 2016, allowing deployment to defend a regional ally under attack. This is thought to be primarily legislation for Japan to deploy to Taiwan in an event of an attack on Taiwan, which in turn threatens Japanese security in its southern islands.
In 2019 Taiwan donated two UH-1H helicopters and 30 Humvees to the Armed Forces of Paraguay. Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez shared pictures of the military aid on the presidential Twitter feed.
Starting in 1975, Singapore has sent units from its military to train in the Republic of China under the Starlight training program (星光計畫) due to the lack of space in the city-state. Singaporean forces training in Taiwan numbered roughly 3,000 as of 2005.
Collaboration between the ROC and US militaries began during World War II when both nations were members of the Allied forces, and continued through the Chinese Civil War when ROC forces were supplied primarily by the US until the final evacuation of ROC forces to Taiwan in 1949. Initially the U.S. expected the ROC government to fall and withdrew support until the outbreak of the Korean War when the U.S. 7th Fleet was ordered to the Taiwan Straits both to protect Taiwan from a PRC attack, and to stop ROC actions against the PRC. A formal US-ROC security pact was signed in 1954 establishing a formal alliance that lasted until US recognition of the PRC in 1979. During this period US military advisers were deployed to the ROC and joint exercises were common. The United States Taiwan Defense Command was established in the Philippines for reinforcement of Taiwan airspace. The US and ROC also collaborated on human and electronic intelligence operations directed against the PRC.
ROC units participated in the Korean War and the Vietnam War in non-combat capacities, primarily at the insistence of the United States which was concerned that the high-profile roles for ROC forces in these conflicts would lead to full scale PRC intervention. The United States deployed nuclear weapons on Taiwan as part of the United States Taiwan Defense Command. Nuclear weapons are known to have been stored at Tainan Air Force Base until their withdrawal was ordered by the American President in 1972. High-level cooperation ended with the US recognition of the PRC in 1979, when all remaining US forces in Taiwan were withdrawn. The US continued to supply the ROC with arms sales per the Taiwan Relations Act, albeit in a diminished role.
When the United States Congress enacted on September 30, 2002, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY 2003, it required that Taiwan be "treated as though it were designated a major non-NATO ally." Despite some initial misgivings about Congress's perceived intrusion into the President's foreign affairs authority, the Bush administration subsequently submitted a letter to Congress on August 29, 2003, designating Taiwan as a major non-NATO ally.
In recent years, the ROC military has again begun higher level cooperation with the U.S. Military after over two decades of relative isolation. Senior officers from the U.S. Pacific Command observed the annual Han Kuang military exercises in 2005. The US also upgraded its military liaison position in Taipei from a position held by retired officers hired on a contractual basis to one held by an active duty officer the same year. The United States regularly sends personnel to Taiwan for both training and liaison purposes but does so either secretly or in an unofficial capacity. ROC Marines have trained with their American counterparts in Hawaii and US Marines have also deployed to Taiwan.
In 2015 two United States Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets made an unscheduled landing at Tainan Air Force Base after one of them developed an engine anomaly in-flight. The aircraft were accommodated in an air force hangar until a C-130 full of American technicians could be flown in to check them out. The United States Air Force supports Taiwan's air force through air-to-air refueling and training.
Tsai Ing-wen's request of purchasing weaponry from the US was approved by the US State Department in July 2019. The deal includes 108 Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger missiles and related equipment worth $2.2 billion. Tsai said the weaponry would "greatly enhance our land and air capabilities, strengthen military morale and show to the world the US commitment to Taiwan's defense." In May 2020, the U.S. Department of State approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of 18 MK-48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes for Taiwan in a deal estimated to cost $180 million.
Elite units of the ROC and American militaries have trained together for a long time, units often have particular relationships for example the MPSSC trains and engages in exercises with United States Army Special Forces. In June 2020 the United States Army Special Forces published a promotional video which included footage of Green Berets training in Taiwan. The ROC Army Aviation and Special Forces Command and the United States Army Special Forces have an annual training exercise called Balance Tamper. The ROC Marines receive training annually from the US Marine Corps’ Marine Raider Regiment.
The Republic of China held their first military parade on 10 October 2007 for National Day celebrations since 1991. Previous parades were halted in an effort to ease the tension with the PRC. The parade was aimed at easing worries that the armed forces might be unprepared for a conflict with the PRC. The parade consisted of indigenous missiles, U.S. Patriot II and Avenger anti-missiles systems, U.S.-made F-16s, French-made Mirages and Taiwan-made IDF fighters.
In 2015, another parade was held to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Japan in 1945 in northern Hsinchu county. The parade was long at two hours and consisted of indigenous missiles, Apache helicopters and awards for World War II veterans.
The ROC military's rank structure was initially patterned after the Wehrmacht of the 1930s. The titles of each rank are the same in Chinese for all four military branches. The corresponding titles in English for each service are listed.
|Chinese title||Army / Marines / MP||Navy||Air Force|
|一級上將||Superior General 1st Grade||Superior Admiral 1st Grade||Superior General 1st Grade|
|二級上將||Superior General 2nd Grade||Superior Admiral 2nd Grade||Superior General 2nd Grade|
|中將||Standard General||Vice Admiral||Lieutenant General|
|少將||Inferior General||Rear Admiral||Major General|
|上校||Senior Field Officer||Captain||Colonel|
|中校||Standard Field Officer||Commander||Lieutenant Colonel|
|少校||Inferior Field Officer||Lieutenant Commander||Major|
|中尉||Standard Subaltern||Lieutenant Junior Grade||1st Lieutenant|
|少尉||Junior Subaltern||Ensign||2nd Lieutenant|
|Chinese title||Army / Marines / MP||Navy||Air Force|
|一等士官長||Sergeant Commander 1st Class||Master Chief Petty Officer||Chief Master Sergeant|
|二等士官長||Sergeant Commander 2nd Class||Senior Chief Petty Officer||Senior Master Sergeant|
|三等士官長||Sergeant Commander 3rd Class||Chief Petty Officer||Master Sergeant|
|上士||Superior Sergeant||Petty Officer 1st Class||Technical Sergeant|
|中士||Standard Sergeant||Petty Officer 2nd Class||Staff Sergeant|
|下士||Inferior Sergeant||Petty Officer 3rd Class||Senior Airman|
|上等兵||Superior Private||Leading Seaman||Airman First Class|
|一等兵||Private 1st Class||Seaman||Airman|
|二等兵||Private 2nd Class||Seaman Apprentice||Airman Basic|
Major deployments, battles and incidents
- Northern Expedition: 1926–1928
- Central Plains War: May 1930 – 4 November 1930
- First Communist Insurrection/Purge: 1927–1937
- Second Sino-Japanese War/World War II: 1937–1945
- Marco Polo Bridge Incident: 7 July 1937
- Battle of Shanghai: 13 August – 9 November 1937
- Battle of Nanjing: October–December 1937
- Battle of Taierzhuang: 24 March – April 1938
- First Battle of Changsha: 17 September – 6 October 1939
- Second Battle of Changsha: 6 September – 8 October 1941
- Third Battle of Changsha: 24 December 1941 – 15 January 1942
- Defense of Sichuan: 1942–1943
- Battle of Hengyang-Changsha: June 1944 – April 1945
- Chinese Civil War: 1946–1950
- New Fourth Army Incident: 1940
- February 28 Incident: 28 February – March 1947
- Battle of Kuningtou: 25–28 October 1949
- Battle of Dengbu Island: 3–5 November 1949
- Hainan Campaign: 1 March 1950 – 1 May 1950
- First Battle of Dadan island: July 26, 1950
- Korean War: 1950–1953, Translators, cross border raids into southwest China from Burma.
- Battle of Nanri island: 11 – 15 April 1952
- Dongshan Island Campaign: 15 July 1953
- First Taiwan Strait Crisis: August 1954 – May 1955
- Second Taiwan Strait Crisis (August 23 Artillery Battle): 23 August – early October 1958
- Second Battle of Dadan island: 26 August 1958
- Vietnam War: 1960s, Deployment of small groups of ROC troops disguised as locals, transportation, and technical assistance. Not widely publicized to avoid PRC involvement.
- Battle of Dong-Yin: 1 May 1965
- Battle of Wuchow: 13–14 November 1965
- Yemen Civil War: 1979 to 1985: 80+ F-5E pilots plus ground crew sent to North Yemen to boost its air defense at the request of Saudi Arabia and the United States. At least one squadron strength was kept throughout the period, flying North Yemen's F-5E fleet.
- Third Taiwan Strait Crisis: 21 July 1995 – 23 March 1996
- Southeast Asian tsunami relief: January 2005
- Military intervention against ISIL: 13 June 2014 – present (Under CJTF-OIR)
Nuclear weapons program
The development of nuclear weapons by the ROC has been a contentious issue. The U.S., hoping to avoid escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait, has continually opposed arming the ROC with nuclear weapons. Accordingly, the ROC, although not a member of the United Nations, adheres to the principles of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has stated that it does not intend to produce nuclear weapons. Past nuclear research by the ROC makes it a 'threshold' nuclear state.
In 1967, a nuclear weapons program began under the auspices of the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) at the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology. The ROC was able to acquire nuclear technology from abroad (including a research reactor from Canada and low-grade plutonium from the United States) allegedly for a civilian energy system, but in actuality to develop fuel for nuclear weapons.
After the International Atomic Energy Agency found evidence of the ROC's efforts to produce weapons-grade plutonium, Taipei agreed in September 1976 under U.S. pressure to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The nuclear reactor was soon shut down and the plutonium mostly returned to the U.S.
Another secret program was revealed after 1987 Lieyu massacre, when Colonel Chang Hsien-yi, deputy director of Nuclear Research at INER who was secretly working for the CIA, defected to the U.S. in December, and produced a cache of incriminating documents. In 1988 upon being questioned by Director of American Institute in Taiwan, David Dean in person with the United States satellite image recording a minimized nuclear test at Jioupeng military base field in Pingtung in 1986, Superior-general Hau Pei-tsun claimed that scientists in Taiwan had already produced the controlled nuclear reaction as the continuous progress in decades after the previous accomplishment equivalent to 1/6 of Hiroshima scale in South Africa in 1980, as per General Hau's Diary and President Nelson Mandela's later findings. Under pressure from the U.S., the program was halted.
During the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, ROC President Lee Teng-hui proposed to reactivate the program, but was forced to back down a few days later after drawing intense criticism from the U.S. government.
Taiwan's budget figures exclude both the classified budget and special funds allocated by the Executive Yuan. As of 2020 special funds expenditures were almost 2 billion a year.
|Year||Nominal||Percentage of GDP|
Chief of the General Staffs
- Lin Chen-yi (5 February 2009 – 15 January 2013)
- Yen Ming (16 January 2013 – 7 August 2013)
- Kao Kuang-chi (8 August 2013 – 30 January 2015)
- Yen Teh-fa (30 January 2015 – 30 November 2016)
- Chiu Kuo-cheng (1 December 2016 – 28 April 2017)
- Lee Hsi-ming (28 April 2017 – 1 July 2019)
- Shen Yi-ming (1 July 2019 – 2 January 2020)
- Liu Chih-pin (2 January 2020 – 15 January 2020) (acting)
- Huang Shu-kuang (16 January 2020 – 30 June 2021)
- Chen Pao-yu (1 July 2021 – Present)
- Republic of China Armed Forces Museum
- People's Liberation Army
- Grey-zone (international relations)
- Republic of China Navy
- Republic of China Army
- Republic of China Air Force
- Republic of China Military Police
- Republic of China Armed Forces Reserve
- "2021 Taiwan Military Strength".
- Bell, Corey Lee. "Is Taiwan Really Buying the 'Wrong' Weapons?". thediplomat.com. The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
- National Assembly (制憲國民大會) (25 December 1946). "Clause 138". 中華民國憲法 [Constitution of the Republic of China]. Wikisource (in Chinese). Nanjing: National Assembly. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
全國陸海空軍，須超出個人、地域及黨派關係以外，效忠國家，愛護人民。(English translation: The land, sea and air forces of the whole country shall be above personal, regional, or party affiliations, shall be loyal to the state, and shall protect the people.)
- "Overview – Taiwan Military Agencies". globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 3 March 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2006.
- "2004 National Defense White Paper" (PDF). ROC Ministry of National Defense. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2006.
- "2004 National Defense Report" (PDF). ROC Ministry of National Defense. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2006.
- 第三十二条 国军之组织，以义务民兵制为基础 (Clause 32, Organization of Nationalist Army, with volunteer militia as its foundation)
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