Taiwan’s Defense Budget: How Taipei’s Free Riding Risks War
Source: Cato Institute
From press release:

Taiwan’s free-riding on the United States for military defense coupled with its increasingly aggressive call for independence could drag the United States into a catastrophic war with China, finds a policy analysis report issued by the Cato Institute today.

“Taiwan’s overall investment in defense–approximately 2.6 percent of GDP–is woefully inadequate given the ongoing tensions with mainland China. … Taiwan spends far too little on its own defense, in large part because Taiwanese believe the United States is their ultimate protector,” according to the Cato Institute policy analysis “Taiwan’s Defense Budget: How Taipei’s Free Riding Risks War.”

As a result, “America is now in the unenviable position of having an implicit commitment to defend a fellow democracy that seems largely uninterested in defending itself,” write the authors, Justin Logan and Ted Galen Carpenter.

This scenario is aggravated by Taiwan’s internal politics, which increasingly push the envelope for independence. These internecine struggles often result in actions that greatly provoke China, such as their recent bid to join the United Nations under the name “Taiwan” instead of its official title “Republic of China.”

+ Full Document (PDF; 414 KB)