National defense consists of more than military: Ma
CNATAIPEI -- Establishing a small but strong and skillful military force has been a steadfast target of Taiwan's military preparations, President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday while giving an address on his ideas for military strategy.
January 19, 2012, 12:08 am TWN
Ma said that “national defense” should not be entirely in the category of military affairs. He said matters such as improvements in relations between Taiwan and China, trade and investment, and cultural and educational exchanges can all be seen as “implicit tactics in national defense.”
They are invisible security assurances, Ma said.
He said the government will still continue efforts to reinforce military preparedness, but added that strength and resources must be spent wisely.
The president also said Taiwan should draw an alternative line of defense in the Taiwan Strait. The country should try to “make the other side (of the strait) resolve cross-strait disputes without having to think of using non-peaceful options,” he contended.
In that way, he went on, Taiwan could achieve what Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military strategist, said in his famous book titled “The Art of War,” that “thus, the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces; the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field; and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.”
Ma was addressing a dinner banquet held at the Ministry of National Defense to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday, which will run Jan. 21-29. He also reminded military officers and soldiers to strictly uphold discipline during the nine-day holiday.
“People's trust is the biggest asset of the government and the maintenance of discipline is the most important basis of people's trust,” he said.
Accompanied by Vice President-elect and Premier Wu Den-yih, Ma went to his re-election campaign office in New Taipei earlier in the day. There, he was greeted by over 1,000 supporters, to whom he bowed in thanks for their votes in the Jan. 14 presidential election that gave him another four-year term.
He told the supporters that his government has tried very hard to improve the lives of the people over the years, even if somehow, people have been unable to sense these achievements.
Now he knows that both action and letting people know what has been done are equally important, he said.
The president recalled that before deciding to run for the presidency in 2008, he had determined to serve two terms.
Therefore, he set an eight-year two-stage administration target. In the first four year term, he wanted to “bring order out of chaos” and to lead Taiwan to catch up with the world, he said.
He said he has accomplished the first stage of the target and that it is now time to move on to the second stage, in which he will “act to have Taiwan cast off its old self and move toward excellence.”
He added that he wants to push Taiwan's economic transformation, which will allow the country to have a place on the world economic map.
“Winning the election is only the beginning of my responsibility,” he said, stating that he will keep moving forward with a humble and thankful heart.”