Asia Pacific

Taiwan Expands Intelligence Operations Center

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense is expanding the country’s joint intelligence operations center amid growing military threats from China.

The move has been spurred by the ongoing war in Ukraine, where intelligence and surveillance are playing a crucial role in combating Russian aggression.

As part of the expansion, the island nation has increased the number of intelligence personnel focusing on China’s People’s Liberation Army.

An additional budget has reportedly been allocated to hire 30 more employees for the intelligence center by the end of 2022.

An undisclosed number of staff working at the National Security Bureau and Military Intelligence Bureau have also been tapped to work with the center’s present team of 125.

“With the assessments [from the intelligence center], relevant units will also be able to come up with useful training exercises and themes targeting the communists’ threats,” according to a defense ministry report forwarded to the country’s legislature for review.

Once the expansion is complete, the ministry said that the intelligence personnel could be sent to Taiwan’s National Defence University to hone their skills and participate in war game simulations.

Taiwanese soldiers
Taiwanese soldiers at a military base in Hsinchu. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP

Key Functions

Enhancing Taiwan’s intelligence capabilities is considered vital following a series of illegal intrusions by Chinese military aircraft into Taipei’s air defense identification zone.

According to the Ministry of National Defense, the intelligence gathered by the center will be used to brief army, navy, and air force officers regarding the situation in the Taiwan Strait every six months.

Additionally, intelligence staff will be tasked with gathering relevant information on military movements such as changes in China’s People’s Liberation Army operations, weapons acquisition, drills, and military research.

Other responsibilities include monitoring developments in the South China Sea and nearby regions.

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