The annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference will take place in Virginia, United States, from Oct. 1-3 (Eastern Time), bringing together delegates from the Taiwanese and American governments, along with defense industry representatives, to discuss the future of bilateral defense cooperation, according to the organizers.
According to the US-Taiwan Business Council’s press release, the 22nd annual event will feature a series of conferences, with the keynote address set to be delivered by a senior Taiwanese defense official on Monday.
Laura Rosenberger, chair of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the council, will provide introductory comments.
While the Taiwanese defense official set to attend has not been named, it has been a longstanding practice for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) to send a vice defense minister to the annual event.
Last year, the MND sent then Vice Defense Minister Wang Hsin-lung (王信龍) to head Taiwan’s delegation.
The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties. It is headquartered in Virginia but maintains a main office in Taipei and a branch office in Kaohsiung.
The AIT’s Taipei director serves as the top U.S. envoy to Taiwan while its chair serves more of a ceremonial role.
According to the conference agenda, there will be five sessions with the first providing an updated assessment of the most serious threats Taiwan faces, looking at where key risks are originating, and examining emerging threats.
The second session will examine how U.S. policies on Taiwan’s defense have changed and expanded, and how new lines of bilateral communications are emerging.
The third session will focus on the shortcomings and challenges in U.S.-Taiwan defense cooperation, including gaps in addressing economic coercion and supply chain risks, as well as a lack of cooperation in responses to political warfare, interoperability issues, and challenges in building industrial capacity.
The fourth session will take a closer look at information operations, political warfare, and cybersecurity — a potentially crucial front in a possible cross-strait conflict.
The final session will examine Taiwan’s critical infrastructure — including transportation, energy, and telecommunications — and how strategic paralysis might play out in a potential conflict.
Panelists will highlight how industry in the U.S. and Taiwan can cooperate to provide solutions, with the discussion focused on how to help boost Taiwan’s defense by improving flexibility and enhancing resilience, according to the press release.
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party and main opposition Kuomintang also traditionally send party representatives to the meeting.
Other big names set to attend the conference include former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver, who is now the chair of The Project 2049 Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
Two retired senior American generals, former U.S. Marine Lieutenant General Steven R. Rudder, and former Admiral in the U.S. Navy and former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Scott Swift will also be in attendance.
Since its 2002 debut, the annual conference has aimed to facilitate engagement between the American defense industry and the U.S. and Taiwan governments on security matters.
Source: Focus Taiwan