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Military


Ministry of National Defense

Article 36 of the ROC Constitution stipulates that the president of the republic "shall have supreme command of the land, sea and air forces of the whole country," and Article 3 of the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan states that "the Executive Yuan shall establish (among others) a Ministry of National Defense." According to the Organization Law of the MND, the ministry shall be in charge of the defense affairs of the whole country, and the minister shall be a civilian.

The MND is responsible for formulating military strategy, setting military personnel policies, formulating draft and mobilization plans, delineating supply distribution policies, arranging the R&D of military technology, compiling the budget for national defense, setting military regulations, conducting court martial proceedings, and administering military law. Within the Ministry of National Defense (MND) is the General Staff Headquarters, which is headed by the chief of the general staff. In addition to being in charge of military affairs, this individual acts as the chief of staff to the president for operational matters in the military command system and serves as chief of staff to the minister of national defense in the administrative system.

The Law of National Defense and the Organic Law of the Ministry of National Defense were officially promulgated for implementation on 1 March, 2002. It was a major reform of our national defense organization in the spirit of unification of military administration and military order with the civilian government leading the military, as well as an indication of the legalization of the armed forces that it no longer belongs to personal military leaders but belongs to the nation. The Law of National Defense stipulates that the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Three Armed Forces with the defense minister responsible for order issuance and the chief-of-staff for implementation. Thus, the chief-of-staff becomes the staff of military order of the defense minister and is responsible for commanding the armed forces and various military orders under the order of the defense minister.

The first minister of national defense is general Bai Qiong-xi and the first of chief-of-staff is general Chen Cheng. On 11 May 2004 Taiwan appointed Lee Chieh, former navy commander-in-chief and chief of the general staff, as the new defense minister. Lee Chieh replaced Tang Yiau-ming, who offered to resign after the presidential election on 20 March 2004. Tang was credited for transforming the military into one loyal to Taiwan rather than the Kuomintang Party. The chief of the general staff is routinely rotated among the military forces and was expected to go to air force commander-in-chief Lee Tien-yu.

Within the Ministry of National Defense is the General Staff Headquarters (GSH), under which are the various services, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Combined Services Forces, Armed Forces Reserve Command/Coast Guard Command, and Military Police Command. In charge of military affairs, the GSH is headed by a chief of the general staff, who acts, in the military command system, as chief of staff to the president for operational matters; while in the administrative system, he serves as chief of staff to the minister of national defense.

The Ministry of National Defense is responsible for formulating military strategy, setting military personnel policies, devising draft and mobilization plans, delineating supply distribution policies, arranging for the research and development of military technology, compiling data for the national defense budget, setting military regulations, conducting court martial proceedings and administering military law. The ministry itself has a Minister's Office; Departments of Manpower, Materials, and Law; a Bureau of the Comptroller, and the Judge Advocates Bureau.

General Staff Headquarters, MND

In charge of the planning and supervision of joint war activities, political warfare, personnel, military intelligence, operations, education and training, logistics, organization and equipment calibration, communications, military archives management, and medical services, the General Staff Headquarters, MND contains the Office of the Chief of the General Staff; the Department of Supervision and Inspection; the General Political Warfare Department; Offices of the Deputy Chiefs of the General Staff for Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics, and Planning; the Bureau of Communications and Electronics; the Military History and Translation Bureau; the Military Medical Bureau; and the General Affairs Bureau.

Combined Services Force General Headquarters

The Combined Services Force General Headquarters is in charge of ordinance, military maps, and communication equipment for the ROC Armed Forces. It also provides support and services commonly needed by all Armed Forces services, such as finance, surveying, engineering, rear echelon administration, purchase and procurement, and armament appraisal and testing.

Armed Forces Reserve Command

Shortly after the ROC government announced the lifting of the Emergency Decree and the termination of the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion, the Taiwan Garrison General Headquarters (TGGH) was deactivated, and two new commands were created to assume partial responsibility for tasks formerly performed by the TGGH: the Armed Forces Reserve Command (AFRC), which is mainly in charge of reservist management and mobilization affairs; and the Coast Guard Command (CGC), responsible for matters of coastal security.

Procurement Bureau (PB)

The Procurement Bureau (PB) of the Ministry of National Defense and its Defense Procurement Division (DPD) of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECRO) in Washington, D.C. are Taiwan's two largest and most important official military purchasing agencies. They purchase most of the military equipment and supplies required by Taiwan's defense organizations. Other military procurement bodies, such as the military services' logistics commands and the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology play a relatively minor role in military purchasing abroad. Military organizations may purchase imported items without PB or DPD tendering bids, but all equipment and supplies with a purchase amount exceeding the designated audit ceiling of NTD 30 million for domestic purchase, and USD 600,000 for overseas purchase, must be purchased through PB or DPD tenders



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