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Taiwan's Security Policy: External Threats and Domestic Politics

Michael S. Chase
Taiwan's Security Policy: External Threats and Domestic Politics
ISBN: 978-1-58826-566-1
2008/281 pages/LC: 2007048378

"A comprehensive analysis of what has caused Taiwan’s underactive response to the accelerating pace of China’s military upgrading.... One of the very few published studies that focus on the Taiwanese side of the equation."—Choice

"Chase uses a rich tapestry of sources to provide a provocative, deeply descriptive, and highly analytical examination of Taiwan's defense policy."—T.Y. Wang, Illinois State University

"This important book provides a tremendous amount of new information; the analysis is subtle, balanced, and persuasive."—Shelley Rigger, Davidson College


Confounding expectations, Taiwan reduced its military spending for many years even as its sole adversary, the People's Republic of China, modernized its military and significantly increased its defense budget. Michael Chase examines the key factors that have shaped Taiwan's security policy over a span of three decades.

Chase explores both the role of US security assurances in formulating Taiwan's defense policy and the profound influence that domestic politics has played. He also considers the context of cross-Strait relations and the implications of Taiwan's security choices for potential instability and conflict in the region and beyond. Relying on extensive Chinese-language sources and interviews, he offers the most definitive treatment of Taiwan's security policy to date.


Michael S. Chase is assistant professor in the Strategy and Policy Department at the US Naval War College.


  • The Puzzle of Taiwan's Security Policy.
  • China's Approach to Taiwan: 1980-1999.
  • Democratization and Security in Taiwan.
  • China's Taiwan Policy and Military Modernization Since 2000.
  • Current Defense Policy in Taiwan.
  • US-Taiwan Security Ties.
  • Threat Perceptions.
  • Domestic Politics.
  • Implications for Regional Security and US-Taiwan Relations.