Taiwan's newly elected government
plans to cut armed forces strength 25 percent (from 270,000 troops to 200,000).
The new government is friendlier towards China, and apparently plans to
maintain Taiwan's independence by saying what China wants to hear (that Taiwan
won't declare independence from China, which considers Taiwan a temporarily
"lost province"), and buy more modern weapons from the U.S. Taiwan is also
developing new defense plans that involve closer coordination with the United
States and Japan. The Taiwanese still want to keep the Chinese out, but will be
more discreet and diplomatic about it in the future.
the size of the armed forces is popular with most Taiwanese, because it means
lower taxes, and fewer young Taiwanese men getting conscripted. Buying more
modern weapons helps with troop morale, giving them the feeling that they could
withstand a Chinese onslaught.