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Taiwan’s defenses weaker against Chinese attack, ex-VP says

- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2013

Taiwan's former vice president said Friday that her country's defenses against China have grown weaker under President Ma Ying-jeou, agreeing with a former U.S. diplomat's recent critical assessment of Taiwan's military and security.

"I agree that under … President Ma's leadership, the defense power in Taiwan has been weakening," Annette Lu, vice president from 2000 to 2008, told The Washington Times. "There is a tendency toward China, and making the military confused in how to defend the country, and the national defense [posture] in the past couple of years has been decreased."

Responding to a question, Ms. Lu said she believes that Mr. Ma is less interested in defending the country and more interested in making amends with China.

"It is no secret that he is really very much in favor of China," she said of the Taiwanese leader.

Ms. Lu's comments follow those of William Stanton, former head of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy, who said last month that the democratic island nation's declining defense spending has left it vulnerable to attack from communist China.

Mr. Stanton also said the country's security had been compromised because China has infiltrated Taiwan's military, noting that nine Taiwanese spies for Beijing had been apprehended in recent years.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry dismissed Mr. Stanton's criticisms last month, but Ms. Lu — a staunch advocate for Taiwan independence — said she accepts them as fact.

A member of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, Ms. Lu said the spy cases indicate a "serious leakage of classified information" and a "loss of faith" in the military.

"Worse than that is our court decision," she said, adding that "those who were proven to have betrayed Taiwan … were not severely sanctioned."

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