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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 29, 1982

MINUTES OF THE MEETING BETWEEN WANG SHENG (DIRECTOR OF THE GENERAL POLITICAL WARFARE DEPARTMENT, MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, TAIWAN) AND ABANG ABU BAKAR (VICE DEFENSE MINISTER)

This document was made possible with support from the Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    General Wang Sheng and Malaysia's Vice Defense Minister discuss Taiwan's military system, defense spending, and anti-communist policy.
    "Minutes of the Meeting between Wang Sheng (Director of the General Political Warfare Department, Ministry of National Defense, Taiwan) and Abang Abu Bakar (Vice Defense Minister)," March 29, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Box 16, Wang Sheng Papers, Hoover Institution Archives. Translated by Fulong He. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123463
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Time: 16:15 p.m. - 17:20 p.m.

Venue: Office of Vice Defense Minister

Wang [Sheng]: It is really a great honor for me to meet you, vice minister.

Abang [Abu Bakar]: I heard that your country’s veteran affairs system is very sound, and I would like to send someone to learn from you if it is possible.

Wang: After years of operation, we achieved a lot in guiding retired soldiers for their reentering the job market, obtaining medical service, subsidies, and schooling. Retired soldiers have become an important stabilizing power for our society. If you have any request, we will help you with every effort.

Abang: The Reagan administration refused to sell advanced airplanes to you. How is the impact?

Wang: President Reagan is capable himself and sticks to his anticommunist principles. However, it seems that the Department of State has been manipulated by Communist sympathizers. Their recent refusal of selling air fighters to Taiwan will not have strong impact within 3 or 5 years, as we are devising our own air fighters. Communist China is a double-dealer, bullying the weak and fearing the strong. The Chinese Communists asked certain world powers not to adopt a “Two China’s” policy, but look at what they do. Take Singapore as an example, Communist China demanded that the Singaporean government expel the ROC Mission but Singapore refused to follow with a tough attitude. Having no other choice, Beijing gave in and established its own Mission in that country despite its usual “national policy.” So the best way of handling Communist China is to be tough.

Abang: So what’s the proportion of your defense spending in your GNP?

Wang: About 8%, a little bit too high. But we need to maintain a strong military presence in order to fight against the ferocious Chinese Communist Party.

Abang: You are very friendly to Singapore, and it is said that you have sold F5-E fighters to Singapore. Is it true?

Wang: Our F5-E fighters are the product involving cooperation with the United States. Pursuant to regulations imposed by the United States, no US-manufactured military equipment can be transferred to a third country without prior clearance and approval by the US government. I believe it is the same with your country.

Abang: How is the general situation in your country?

Wang: We stick to the principle of “three-no’s policy”—no contact, no negotiation, and no compromise—regarding Communist China. Many countries believe they can make friends with the Chinese Communists and do business with them for money. As a matter of fact, we have the most convenience in making friends with them, as we can easily find townsmen or classmates there. The Chinese Communists were most enthusiastic about inviting us to make business with them. But why don’t we? Because we know them all too well: we will only suffer losses if deal with them.

Abang: You have a lot of experience in electronic warfare. Can you assist us in that?

Wang: You may propose the scope of your demand, and we will give it a careful consideration. Electronic warfare concerns the top secret of a country, and we used to assist your country in this respect.

Abang: How about the weaponry industry in your country?

Wang: We have a longstanding history and substantial achievements in producing traditional weapons, and we are developing rockets, missiles, and precision weapons now. We actually possess the capability to develop nuclear weapons, but we choose not to it. Having nearly 600,000 in our armed forces, we are faced with heavy burden; but we also have 2.87 million reservists who can be mobilized within 24 hours in case of war emergency. Our goal in national defense is to achieve self-sufficiency. Weaponry is definitely important for armies, but maintenance of high morale and cooperation from our people are even more important.