Taiwan's "Minister of National Defense" Feng Shih-kuan presented the 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) to the "Legislative Yuan" on Thursday. In the four-yearly review, a military strategy of "resolute defense" and "multi-deterrence" is designed to serve the tenure of Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen.
The "multi-deterrence" strategy aims to force the enemy into multi-dilemmas. As ambitious as it is, it has almost no actual military value.
With the development of military strength on the Chinese mainland, the will of Taiwan's military to confront their mainland counterparts has almost collapsed. No soldiers believe Taiwan forces are capable to defend the island if the People's Liberation Army (PLA) launches a comprehensive offensive against Taiwan.
The new QDR claims that the PLA is capable of seizing Taiwan's offshore islands. But isn't it an easy thing for the PLA to seize the whole island of Taiwan?
The Taiwan military cannot match the present-day PLA. The mainland's military budget is more than 10 times that of Taiwan, and the PLA has superior strategic tools and systemic combat capabilities that their Taiwan counterparts don't have.
The QDR is of no value to cross-Straits ties and East Asia. Taiwan's security cannot be safeguarded by military means, but can only be achieved through political approaches.
As long as the Tsai government accepts of the 1992 Consensus, the island's security will be ensured. The eight-year-tenure of Ma Ying-Jeou is the most secure period Taiwan has enjoyed since entering the 21st century.
However, the Democratic Progressive Party government led by Tsai has undermined the political foundation commonly agreed by the mainland and Taiwan. Without political security, what's the use of developing military strength?
Taiwan has taken deterring the mainland as a key strategy, and constantly changed its deterrence tactics. But there is no need for the island to deter the mainland, as the mainland cherishes peace and won't resort to force unless it's absolutely necessary. If Taiwan is controlled by radial pro-independence forces, Taiwan's military, even with the help of the main US military forces, will not be able to deter the mainland.
Therefore, the most important thing for Taiwan is not to provoke the one-China policy. This is the correct political way to protect the island's security.