2023 US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference
The US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2023 was held October 1-3, 2023 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. This event was held in person only. This was the 22nd annual event in a series of ongoing conferences addressing the future of U.S. defense cooperation with Taiwan, the defense procurement process, and Taiwan’s defense and national security needs.
Keynote speakers at the event included senior representatives from the Taiwan and U.S. governments. Conference sessions at the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference featured a moderator and several speakers on the panel, and some sessions included additional commentators. Each speaker gave a short presentation on the session topic from his or her own viewpoint and expertise. Those presentations were then followed by a moderator-led discussion among the panelists, as well as a moderator-driven question and answer period with the attendees. This format offers the maximum amount of time for exchanges among the panelists, as well as between the panel and the audience, allowing the sessions to become a forum for substantial and valuable interaction and discussion.
Monday Keynote Address
General Hsu Heng-Pu, Vice Minister (Armaments), Ministry of National Defense
Keynote Speech in English
Keynote Speech in Chinese
Introductory Comments by Laura Rosenberger, Chair, American Institute in Taiwan
Monday Luncheon Keynote Address
Dr. Alexander Chieh-cheng Huang, KMT Representative to the United States, Kuomintang (KMT)
Monday Dinner Keynote Address
Jedidiah P. Royal, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
Tuesday Conference Closing Keynote
Mira K. Resnick, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State
(Speech not released)
The first session provided an updated assessment of the most serious threats Taiwan faces, look at where key risks are originating, and examine emerging threats. The second session examined how U.S. policies on Taiwan defense have changed and expanded, with new lines of bilateral communications emerging. We also discussed how the U.S. view of Taiwan defense policy is changing, where we are now on the continuum of policy evolution, and examined what is coming next.
The third session focused on the capability gaps in U.S.-Taiwan defense cooperation, looking at extant challenges, including gaps in addressing economic coercion and supply chain risks, lack of cooperation on responses to political warfare, interoperability issues, and challenges in building industrial capacity, among others. The fourth session took a closer look at information operations, political warfare, and cybersecurity as one emerging and crucial front in a possible cross-Strait conflict.
The final session examined Taiwan’s critical infrastructure – including transportation, telecommunications, energy, and other crucial nodes – and the role that strategic paralysis might play in a potential conflict. Panelists highlighted how U.S. and Taiwan industry can cooperate to provide solutions, with the discussion focused on helping Taiwan’s deterrence efforts by improving flexibility and enhancing resiliency.
The first conference in this series was the St. Petersburg, Florida event where former Taiwan Minister of National Defense Tang Yiau-ming gave the keynote address in March of 2002. The second conference in the series was held in February 2003 in San Antonio, Texas, the third in October 2004 in Phoenix, Arizona, the fourth in September 2005 in San Diego, California, the fifth in September 2006 in Denver, Colorado, and the sixth in September 2007 in Annapolis, Maryland.
Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min gave the keynote address at the seventh conference in the series, held in September 2008 on Amelia Island, Florida. The eighth conference was held in September 2009 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the ninth in October 2010 in Cambridge, Maryland, and the tenth in September 2011 in Richmond, Virginia. The eleventh conference was held in September 2012 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the twelfth in September 2013 in Annapolis, Maryland, the thirteenth in October 2014 in Williamsburg, Virginia, the fourteenth in October 2015 in Williamsburg, Virginia, the fifteenth in October 2016 in Williamsburg, Virginia, the sixteenth in Princeton, New Jersey in October 2017, the seventeenth in Annapolis, Maryland in October 2018, the eighteenth in Ellicott City, Maryland in October 2019, and the nineteenth as a virtual conference in October 2020. The 20th conference took place in Leesburg, Virginia in October 2021, and the twenty-first in October 2022 in Richmond, Virginia.
The website for the conference is located at www.taiwandefenseconference.com.