Fact Sheet

Taiwan Overview

Taiwan Overview

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This page is part of Taiwan’s Profile.

Taiwan does not possess nuclear weapons, although it historically possessed a nuclear weapons program. Taiwan is not believed to have biological or chemical weapons programs, but it has been accused of possessing such programs in the past. Because of its unique status, Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, and cannot participate in nonproliferation regimes as an internationally-recognized state would. Taiwan asserts that it maintains policies in accordance with widely followed export control regimes, despite not being able to participate in them in an official capacity.

Taiwan is not legally considered a sovereign state by most countries or international organizations, including the UN, thus it cannot participate in international nonproliferation treaties or export control regimes. 1 Both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) lay claim to the island of Taiwan, but it is under de facto control of the government in Taipei. Taiwan does not possess nuclear weapons, although it attempted to acquire them in the past. 2 Despite some suspicions of offensive and defensive chemical and biological weapon programs, there is no conclusive evidence that Taiwan developed or deployed either.

In 1968, Taiwan — then recognized as the Republic of China by the UN — signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). After the seat for “China” in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council reverted from Taipei to Beijing’s control in 1971, 3 the NPT and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) coordinated only with the Beijing government on issues related to China. Nuclear safeguards are applied in Taiwan under a trilateral agreement with the U.S. and the IAEA. 4 Taiwan has since implemented the IAEA’s “Program 93+2” safeguards. 5 In January 2014, Taiwan and the United States renewed an agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation. The agreement, which includes a new 123 Agreement, will take effect after the existing one expires on 22 June 2014. 6

While acknowledging that there is only “one China” in the Three Joint Communiqués, the United States believes that the conflict over the status of Taiwan should be resolved by peaceful means through cross-strait dialogue, and with the support of the people of Taiwan. 7 The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), enacted by U.S. Congress in 1979, states that the United States will, inter alia, “maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.” 8 Section 3 of TRA states that, “in furtherance of the policy […], United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.” 9

Cross-strait relations grew strained under Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian’s administration (2000-2008). However in January 2008, Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was defeated in legislative elections, and in March the DPP lost the presidency to the Nationalist Party (KMT) with the election of KMT candidate Ma Ying-jeou. Compared to their low point during Chen’s presidency, relations between Taipei and Beijing have improved significantly under Ma. Ma was reelected by a comfortable margin in January 2012.

In December 2008, President Ma called for the establishment of “military confidence-building measures,” including “prudent consideration [of] the withdrawal of missiles deployed… against Taiwan.” 10 His outreach appeared to be acknowledged by Chinese President Hu Jintao in a speech less than three weeks later, which mentioned engagement and exchange “on military issues and exploratory discussions on the issue of establishing a mechanism of mutual trust for military security.” 11 In a demonstration of improved relations, Taiwan, has implemented cuts in its military budget, and is planning a reduction in troop levels. 12

In 2010, a defense study reported that Mainland China will have 2,000 missiles targeted at Taiwan by 2011. 13 “The analysis of China’s attack capabilities also found that if Beijing actually decided to launch the missiles this year, 90 percent of targets in Taiwan would be destroyed,” says the report published in the Taiwanese Defense Ministry’s naval studies journal. 14 The prospect for a Chinese missile drawdown in response has been the subject of several media reports.

In September 2010, during an interview with Taiwanese media in New York, then-Premier Wen Jiabao expressed that “as peace progresses across the Taiwan Strait, the mainland may dismantle its hundreds of missiles aimed at the self-rule island [温家宝形容,两岸关系应该按照先易后难,把握节奏,循序渐进的原则发展,相信最终撤走对台导] (unofficial translation).” 15 Wen Jiabao also stated that the political relations between Mainland China and Taiwan have reached the most promising point in decades, “following the progress on their economic ties.” 16 Taiwanese government officials welcomed Wen’s comments as evidence of progress. Speaker Wang Jin-pyng of the Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party commented that Wen’s remarks have given “positive assistance” to cross-strait relations. 17 However, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense remained skeptical because Mainland China has yet to renounce the use of force and may deploy new missiles in the future. 18


Under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, the island built its first nuclear reactor at National Tsinghua University in 1956 and began training atomic energy specialists. 19 Late in the 1960s, Taiwan initiated an ambitious program for the procurement and operation of nuclear power facilities on Taiwan. The Chung-Shan Science Institute (CSSI) was established by order of Chiang Kai-shek shortly after the People’s Republic of China detonated its first nuclear device in October 1964. 20 The Institute was largely funded by the military for research projects in nuclear, electronic, chemical, and missile areas. Chung-Shan Science Institute had close ties to the government’s Committee for Science Development, to its Atomic Energy Council, and to Tsinghua University. 21

According to Professor Wu Ta-you, former president of the Academia Sinica in Taipei and then-director of the Science Development Advisory Committee of Taiwan’s National Security Council (NSC), the “Hsin Chu” program, “included the purchase of a heavy-water reactor, a heavy water-production plant, and a plutonium separation plant.” 22 The military-controlled Institute for Nuclear Energy Research (INER) secretly developed a small reprocessing facility and acquired a research reactor; such actions raised questions among the U.S. and other international officials. 23 As the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate indicated in 1972 that “Taiwan’s present intention is to develop the capability to fabricate and test a nuclear device. This capability could be attained by 1976; two or three years later is a more likely timeframe.” 24

During 1976-1977, IAEA officials inspected the activities managed by INER. 25 They discovered discrepancies in the activities that included a Canadian-supplied research reactor, other equipment from the United States, Germany, and France, including U.S.-supplied heavy water, uranium from South Africa, and technical advice from Norwegians and Israelis. 26 In September 1976, the U.S. tried to extract a pledge from Taipei to forswear an independent nuclear weapons capability. 27 The United States insisted Taiwan shut down the research reactor, and in “1977 every fuel element in the core was radioactively scanned by scientists from Los Alamos National Library.” 28

In 1987, INER began building a hot cell facility for reprocessing that violated commitments made in 1976. In this case, IAEA inspectors discovered that fuel rods were missing from one of Taiwan’s nuclear power facilities. The program was shut down and the laboratories and test sites sealed in 1988 shortly after the INER Deputy Director, Col. Chang Hsien-yi, defected to the United States. 29 Since 1988, the Taiwanese leadership has consistently maintained that the Island will not seek nuclear weapons in the future.

Taiwan now possesses six nuclear power reactors and has halted plans for two additional reactors. These reactors are housed in three nuclear power plants with an installed capacity of 4,927megawatts net. 30 Nuclear power accounts for 16.7% of the country’s total power supply. 31 According to the Taiwan Atomic Energy Council, “the three nuclear power plants at Chinshan, Kuosheng and Maanshan operated by state-owned utility Taiwan Power Company (TPC), with two operating units at each site, generated 42.13 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity (gross) in 2011.” 32 The power reactors use low-enriched uranium obtained from the United States and South Africa or transferred from a third country via the United States. Taiwan has no indigenous uranium enrichment capability.

After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant disaster took place, Taiwanese citizens became highly concerned about the future use and expansion of nuclear power. On 15 March 2011, President Ma Ying-jeou declared that “there was no need to cease operations of the existing three nuclear plants,” and stated that construction of a controversial fourth facility should continue. 33 Construction at Lungmen was halted in 2004. 34 Taiwanese authorities announced that they “would not consider building a 5th nuclear power plant and the existing nuclear power plants must be operated with paramount priority to safety.” 35 In early August 2013, an analysis of the safety standards for the Lungmen plant revealed that it was not up to the standards set at the three other Taiwanese nuclear power plants, and that it would be difficult to estimate when fuel rods could be tested in the reactors. 36 China and Taiwan signed an accord on nuclear safety and emergency reporting in 2011. 37

Taiwan possesses much of the technological expertise necessary to develop nuclear weapons, but would face significant obstacles in doing so—namely, U.S. opposition, international pressure, and the threat of a pre-emptive strike by China. Recent assessments indicate that it would take Taiwan between one and eight years to develop a complete nuclear warhead, and most likely much longer to design one light enough to be carried by any of Taiwan’s current land-attack missiles. Regardless, most analysts agree that under the current political situation, Taiwan is very unlikely to pursue a nuclear weapons capability. 38


Taiwan signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in 1972 as the Republic of China  though it was no longer a member of the UN. The ratification of the BTWC was deposited with the United States, which at that time still recognized Taipei as the sole representative of the government of China. With the US switchover of diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, Taipei’s role in this treaty is no longer officially recognized. 39 Media sources indicated that in 1993, the U.S. intelligence community believed that Taiwan had maintained a biological weapons (BW) program from the 1970s. 40 While Washington no longer suspects Taiwan has a BW program, its advanced biotechnology infrastructure and human capital base provide Taipei with a potential breakout capability. 41 In December 1998, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) denied that the island is developing biological weapons. 42


Taiwan’s short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) program is based at the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), which has developed a range of missiles including the Hsiung Feng series of anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles, the Tien Chien series of air-to-air missiles, and the Tien Kung series of surface-to-air missiles. 43 These systems have provided Taiwanese scientists with technological expertise in areas such as composite materials, guidance, and fire control systems, which are essential for development of longer range surface-to-surface missiles.

The Ching Feng missile is reported to have been developed by CSIST during the late 1970s. 44 Taiwan first displayed the surface-to-surface ballistic missile at a National Day parade in Taipei in October 1981. The missile’s reported range is 130 kilometers. 45 Jane’s suggests that the Ching Feng is a modified U.S. MGM-52 Lance missile. Taiwan also developed coastal defense missiles based on Israeli Gabriel Mk 2 technology. 46

In 1981, CSIST started development of the Tien Kung 1 (Sky Bow 1/TK-1) missile system. 47 The TK-1 missile is designed for mid-range interception against an aerial saturation attack. It is equipped with a semi-active radar homing seeker. Modularized hardware increases reliability while reducing production costs. 48 Taiwan successfully launched its indigenously-developed Tien Kung II (Sky Bow II/TK-2) surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a live-fire exercise on 10 May 2002. 49 The adoption of an active radar homing seeker has increased the range of the TK-2. It is especially effective in multiple engagement scenarios. 50

The Kung-Feng 6 multi-launched rocket system (MLRS) is a high-powered, mobile artillery rocket system designed to fire against amphibious assault. 51 Developed by the Missile and Rocket Systems Research Division of the CSIST, Ray-Ting 2000 (RT2000) multiple launch rocket system was developed to replace the aging Kung Feng VI. 52

The Tien Chi, first test-fired in 1997, is a solid-fueled, two-stage missile with a 300km range that can reach China’s southeastern coast. The Tien Chi incorporates GPS technology and has an estimated payload of 100-500kg. 53 One report claims that as many as 50 Tien Chi missiles have been deployed on Tungyin Island and at an unidentified second location. 54 Tien Ma 1 was a two-stage solid propellant ballistic missile with a range of 950km and a payload of 350 kg. The program was believed to have been halted in 1993, but restarted in 1996 following the Chinese ballistic missile tests near Taiwan in 1995 and 1996. 55

Hsiung Feng II is a medium/long-range anti-ship missile with an all-weather dual seeker and electronic countermeasures (ECCM). 56 It is 4.6 meters long, weights 685 kilograms and has a range of 80 kilometers. 57 First test-fired in early 1998, the supersonic anti-ship missile Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) reportedly has a range of hundreds of kilometers, a speed of Mach 2 and a weight of 1,500kg. 58 Taiwanese media reported that, “the HF-3 was first unveiled during the 2007 Double Ten National Day military parade.” 59 A variant of the HF-3 was test-fired on October 2012 with an operational range of 400km, and top speeds of Mach 3.0. 60 In August 2013, the Taiwanese navy displayed a prototype HF-3 road mobile launcher. 61 The Hsiung Feng II-E land-attack cruise missile has a range of 600km and can attack multiple targets. 62 Research on its successor, the increased-range Hsiung Feng II-ER, has been the subject of conflicting reports. Expected to have an increased range of up to 1,250km, the missile could be capable of striking a number of high-value targets on the Chinese mainland, including the Three Gorges Dam. 63

The Hsiung Feng II-E began production with a target output of 50 missiles before 2010. Upon taking office in May 2008, Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou reportedly stopped the development of all missile units with a range above 1000km—including variations of the Hsiung Feng II-E. 64 The Hsiung Feng II-E missile may give Taiwan some deterrent capability. If deployed at the Matsu missile base just off the Chinese coast, its range would place Shanghai just within reach. 65 However, until Taiwan is able to produce a larger number of these systems and deploy them, this deterrent effect will remain weak. The HF-2E, which has a range of about 600km and was developed by the Chung-Shan Institute for Science and Technology, has not officially entered military service. 66 Capable of striking Chinese coastal targets, the HF-3 and the Hsiung Feng II-E cruise missile would enhance Taiwan’s ability to deter a Chinese invasion. 67

Analysts said “the new Taiwan Missiles, ‘Chuifeng and Chichun missiles,’ could hit targets in south-eastern China.” 68 Taiwan’s former Defense Minister, Tsai Ming-hsien, revealed in his memoir that “[the missile] was capable of reaching major Chinese cities including Beijing, Chengdu and Shenyang with a 2,000-kilometre (1,250-mile) range.” 69

Various sources give conflicting estimates on the number of Chinese cruise and ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan. In 2010, Taiwanese estimates stated that China would have 2,000 missiles targeted at Taiwan by 2011. 70 According to the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense’s China Military Power Report 2012, China had 1,600 cruise and ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan in 2012. 71 However, according to the New Frontier Foundation Defense Policy Advisory Committee, the number of missiles targeting Taiwan was roughly 1,400 in 2013, and is expected to decrease as Chinese missiles become more advanced and precise. 72 The Taiwanese government has invested heavily in the development of an anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) system designed specifically to intercept the short-range ballistic missiles deployed across the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan currently possesses the U.S.-made anti-tactical Patriot Advanced Capability II (PAC-2) system. Taiwan bought 171 Stinger air-to-air missiles in November 2009, in a sale valued at $45.3 million. 73 Additionally, a $2.82 billion arms sale package approved in January 2010 included 330 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) defensive missile systems, 32 Harpoon sub-launched SLAMs, and 182 Javelin guided missiles. 74 However, delivery was met with significant delays in 2011 and 2012. 75 In February 2012, Lockheed Martin Corporation announced that Taiwan had placed a $921 million order for PAC-3s. 76

For more details, visit the Syria Missile page.


Taiwan cannot join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or the Australia Group. In 1990, U.S. government officials testified before Congress that Taiwan could have acquired an offensive chemical weapons (CW) capability. 77 While acknowledging production of small quantities of CW agents for defense research purposes, Taiwanese authorities have consistently denied any offensive CW capabilities. 78 Nonetheless, Taiwan has a large dual-use chemical industry and the technical know-how to develop chemical weapons.

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Nonproliferation: Measures to prevent the spread of biological, chemical, and/or nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. See entry for Proliferation.
Export control
National laws or international arrangements established to restrict the sale of certain goods to certain countries, or to ensure that safeguards or end-use guarantees are applied to the export and sale of sensitive and dual-use technologies and materials. See entry for Dual-use
Nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon: A device that releases nuclear energy in an explosive manner as the result of nuclear chain reactions involving fission, or fission and fusion, of atomic nuclei. Such weapons are also sometimes referred to as atomic bombs (a fission-based weapon); or boosted fission weapons (a fission-based weapon deriving a slightly higher yield from a small fusion reaction); or hydrogen bombs/thermonuclear weapons (a weapon deriving a significant portion of its energy from fusion reactions).
Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.
Biological weapon (BW)
Biological weapons use microorganisms and natural toxins to produce disease in humans, animals, or plants.  Biological weapons can be derived from: bacteria (anthrax, plague, tularemia); viruses (smallpox, viral hemorrhagic fevers); rickettsia (Q fever and epidemic typhus); biological toxins (botulinum toxin, staphylococcus enterotoxin B); and fungi (San Joaquin Valley fever, mycotoxins). These agents can be deployed as biological weapons when paired with a delivery system, such as a missile or aerosol device.
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)
Signed in 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the most widely adhered-to international security agreement. The “three pillars” of the NPT are nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Article VI of the NPT commits states possessing nuclear weapons to negotiate in good faith toward halting the arms race and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The Treaty stipulates that non-nuclear-weapon states will not seek to acquire nuclear weapons, and will accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on their nuclear activities, while nuclear weapon states commit not to transfer nuclear weapons to other states. All states have a right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and should assist one another in its development. The NPT provides for conferences of member states to review treaty implementation at five-year intervals. Initially of a 25-year duration, the NPT was extended indefinitely in 1995. For additional information, see the NPT.
United Nations General Assembly
The UN General Assembly is the largest body of the United Nations. It includes all member states, but its resolutions are not legally binding. It is responsible for much of the work of the United Nations, including controlling finances, passing resolutions, and electing non-permanent members of the Security Council. It has two subsidiary bodies dealing particularly with security and disarmament: the UN General Assembly Committee on Disarmament and International Security (First Committee); and the UN Disarmament Commission. For additional information, see the UNGA.
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council: Under the United Nations Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council consists of fifteen members, five of which—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—are permanent members. The other ten members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. The five permanent members possess veto powers. For additional information, see the UNSC.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
IAEA: Founded in 1957 and based in Vienna, Austria, the IAEA is an autonomous international organization in the United Nations system. The Agency’s mandate is the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, technical assistance in this area, and verification that nuclear materials and technology stay in peaceful use. Article III of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires non-nuclear weapon states party to the NPT to accept safeguards administered by the IAEA. The IAEA consists of three principal organs: the General Conference (of member states); the Board of Governors; and the Secretariat. For additional information, see the IAEA.
Safeguards: A system of accounting, containment, surveillance, and inspections aimed at verifying that states are in compliance with their treaty obligations concerning the supply, manufacture, and use of civil nuclear materials. The term frequently refers to the safeguards systems maintained by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in all nuclear facilities in non-nuclear weapon state parties to the NPT. IAEA safeguards aim to detect the diversion of a significant quantity of nuclear material in a timely manner. However, the term can also refer to, for example, a bilateral agreement between a supplier state and an importer state on the use of a certain nuclear technology.

See entries for Full-scope safeguards, information-driven safeguards, Information Circular 66, and Information Circular 153.
Nuclear Cooperation (Section 123) Agreement
Nuclear Cooperation (Section 123) Agreement: Named after Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act of 1954, this type of agreement governs U.S. peaceful nuclear cooperation with foreign states, and must be in place for certain types of transactions to occur.
Nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor: A vessel in which nuclear fission may be sustained and controlled in a chain nuclear reaction. The varieties are many, but all incorporate certain features, including: fissionable or fissile fuel; a moderating material (unless the reactor is operated on fast neutrons); a reflector to conserve escaping neutrons; provisions of removal of heat; measuring and controlling instruments; and protective devices.
Atomic: Pertaining to an atom, which is the basic unit of matter, consisting of a dense nucleus of protons and neutrons and a cloud of electrons surrounding it.
Reprocessing: The chemical treatment of spent nuclear fuel to separate the remaining usable plutonium and uranium for re-fabrication into fuel, or alternatively, to extract the plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.
Research reactor
Research reactor: Small fission reactors designed to produce neutrons for a variety of purposes, including scientific research, training, and medical isotope production. Unlike commercial power reactors, they are not designed to generate power.
Low enriched uranium (LEU)
Low enriched uranium (LEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of the isotope U-235 that is higher than that found in natural uranium but lower than 20% LEU (usually 3 to 5%). LEU is used as fuel for many nuclear reactor designs.
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
The BTWC: The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC) prohibits the development, production, or stockpiling of bacteriological and toxin weapons. Countries must destroy or divert to peaceful purposes all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment, and means of delivery within nine months after the entry into force of the convention. The BTWC was opened for signature on April 10, 1972, and entered into force on March 26, 1975. In 1994, the BTWC member states created the Ad Hoc Group to negotiate a legally binding BTWC Protocol that would help deter violations of the BTWC. The draft protocol outlines a monitoring regime that would require declarations of dual-use activities and facilities, routine visits to declared facilities, and short-notice challenge investigations. For additional information, see the BTWC.
Ballistic missile
A delivery vehicle powered by a liquid or solid fueled rocket that primarily travels in a ballistic (free-fall) trajectory.  The flight of a ballistic missile includes three phases: 1) boost phase, where the rocket generates thrust to launch the missile into flight; 2) midcourse phase, where the missile coasts in an arc under the influence of gravity; and 3) terminal phase, in which the missile descends towards its target.  Ballistic missiles can be characterized by three key parameters - range, payload, and Circular Error Probable (CEP), or targeting precision.  Ballistic missiles are primarily intended for use against ground targets.
Cruise missile
An unmanned self-propelled guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path. There are subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles currently deployed in conventional and nuclear arsenals, while conventional hypersonic cruise missiles are currently in development. These can be launched from the air, submarines, or the ground. Although they carry smaller payloads, travel at slower speeds, and cover lesser ranges than ballistic missiles, cruise missiles can be programmed to travel along customized flight paths and to evade missile defense systems.
Patriot (PAC) Program
The Patriot, first deployed in 1984, is the U.S. Army’s air and missile defense system. The Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) is the anti-theater ballistic missile defense component of the Patriot system.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires each state party to declare and destroy all the chemical weapons (CW) and CW production facilities it possesses, or that are located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, as well as any CW it abandoned on the territory of another state. The CWC was opened for signature on 13 January 1993, and entered into force on 29 April 1997. For additional information, see the CWC.
Australia Group (AG)
Australia Group (AG): Established in 1985 to limit the spread of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) through export controls on chemical precursors, equipment, agents, and organisms. For additional information, see the Australia Group.
Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.
Dual-use item
An item that has both civilian and military applications. For example, many of the precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of chemical weapons have legitimate civilian industrial uses, such as the production of pesticides or ink for ballpoint pens.


  1. Robert E. Riggs and Jack C. Plano, The United Nations: International Organization and World Politics, 2nd edition (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1994), p. 44.
  2. “Taiwan’s Former Nuclear Bomb Program Revisited,” ISIS Reports, Institute for Science and International Security, 19 December 1997, http://isis-online.org.
  3. United Nations, U.N. Resolution 2758, “Restoration of the Lawful Rights of The People’s Republic of China in the United Nations,” United Nations General Assembly, 25 October 1971, Distributed by General Assembly, www.un.org.
  4. Republic of China Atomic Energy Council, “委員會年報 [Executive Yuan Report],” 2007, www.aec.gov.tw; Office of Information Circular, INFCIRC 158, “The Text of a Safeguards Transfer Agreement to a Bilateral Agreement between the Republic of China and the United States of America,” distributed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, 8 March 1972, www.iaea.org.
  5. “Taiwan’s Former Nuclear Bomb Program Revisited,” ISIS Reports, Institute for Science and International Security, 19 December 1997, http://isis-online.org.
  6. “Agreement for Cooperation Between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Power,” 2014, via: www.scribd.com; Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth D. Nikitin, “Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer,” Congressional Research Service, 14 May 2014, http://fas.org.
  7. Shirley A. Kan, “China/Taiwan: Evolution of the ‘One China’ Policy-Key Statements from Washington, Beijing and Taipei,” CRS Report for Congress, RL30341, 12 March 2011.
  8. Taiwan Relations Act Public Law 96-8 96th Congress, “Taiwan Relations Act: Section 2 Findings and Declaration of Policy,” distributed by American Institute in Taiwan, 1 January 1979, www.ait.org.tw.
  9. Taiwan Relations Act Public Law 96-8 96th Congress, “Taiwan Relations Act: Section 2 Findings and Declaration of Policy,” distributed by American Institute in Taiwan, 1 January 1979, www.ait.org.tw.
  10. Ma Ying-Jeou, “MA: Peace Plan—China and Taiwan,” Washington Times, 12 December 2008, www.washingtontimes.com.
  11. “Text of Chinese President’s Speech on ‘Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,’” Xinhua, 1 January 2009.
  12. “MND Considers Troop Cuts as Relations with China Improve,” 20 January 2009, China Post (Taiwan), www.chinapost.com.tw.
  13. Ralph Jennings, “China on Track to Aim 2,000 Missiles at Taiwan: Report,” Reuters, 19 July 2010, www.reuters.com.
  14. “China Missiles Targeted at Taiwan to Approach 2,000,” Taiwan News, 19 July 2010, www.taiwannews.com.
  15. “温家宝:最终会撤走对台导弹 [Wen Jiabao: Removal of Ballistic Missiles Can be Achieved],” Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore), 24 September 2010, www.zaobao.com.
  16. “温家宝:撤对台导弹,最终会得到实现 [Wen Jiabao: Removal of Ballistic Missiles Targeting Taiwan will be Achieved in the End],” China Review News (Hong Kong), 24 September 2010.
  17. “Wen Jiabao Missile Comment Prompts Mixed Reaction in Taiwan,” Japan Economic Newswire, 24 September 2010.
  18. Cheng-yi Lin, “The Politics of China’s Missile Redeployments,” China Brief , 24 September 2010, Volume X, Issue 19, pp.10-12.
  19. “Weapons of Mass Destruction-Taiwan,” Global Security, www.globalsecurity.org.
  20. Special National Intelligence Estimate, “Taipei’s Capabilities and Intentions Regarding Nuclear Weapons Development,” 1 November 1972, distributed by Central Intelligence Agency, Approved Release December 2001.
  21. “Weapons of Mass Destruction-Taiwan,” Global Security, www.globalsecurity.org.
  22. Ta-You Wu, “A Historical Document-A Foot-note to the History of Our Country’s Nuclear Energy’s Policies,” Biographical Literature, Vol. 52, no. 5, May 1988.
  23. David Albright and Corey Gay, “Taiwan: Nuclear Nightmare Averted,” The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, January 1998, pp. 54-60.
  24. Special National Intelligence Estimate, “Taipei’s Capabilities and Intentions Regarding Nuclear Weapons Development,” 1 November 1972, Distributed by Central Intelligence Agency, Approved Release December 2001.
  25. Monte Bullard, “Taiwan and Nonproliferation,” Issue Brief, Nuclear Threat Initiative, May 2005.
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  27. State Department to Embassy in Taipei, “Demarche on ROC Nuclear Intentions,” Calbe 224790, 11 September 1976, Released by Department of State 15 April 2004.
  28. J.R. Phillips, et al. “Nondestructive Verification of the Exposure of Heavy-Water Reactor Fuel Elements,” Los Alamos National Library, June 1982.
  29. Stephen Engelberg and Michael Gordon, “Taipei Halts Work on Secret Plant to Make Nuclear Bomb Ingredient,” New York Times, 23 March 1988, www.nytimes.com.
  30. “Nuclear Power in Taiwan,” World Nuclear Association, January 2012, www.world-nuclear.org.
  31. Republic of China Atomic Energy Council, “Status of Nuclear Programs in Taiwan,” 15 August 2013, www.aec.gov.tw.
  32. Republic of China Atomic Energy Council, “Status of Nuclear Programs in Taiwan,” 15 August 2013, www.aec.gov.tw.
  33. Dennis Engbarth, “Public Demands Safety Review of New Reactor,” 18 March 2011, Inter Press Service, www.ipsnews.net; “大卫,台湾核四厂不因福岛核电厂灾变停建 [Work on Taiwan’s Fourth Rector Will Not Stop because of Fukushima,” Voice of America, 15 March 2011, www.voanews.com.
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