TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je Meets U.S.-Taiwan Business Council Delegation





On June 6th, Taiwan People's Party (TPP) Chairmen Ko Wen-je, along with TPP legislators Vivian Huang Shan-shan and Lin Yi-chun, met with national security representatives led by U.S.-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond and former US Marine Corps Forces Pacific commander Steven Rudder. The visit marks a continuation of the relationship established last year, when Ko Wen-je visited the United States and was hosted by Rupert Hammond. This time, Hammond returned with a delegation of approximately 30 representatives from prominent defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and BAE System. During the meeting, Rupert Hammond personally invited Ko Wen-je to attend the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Forum scheduled for September in Philadelphia.



Ko Wen-je highlighted Taiwan's precarious geographic location in an earthquake and typhoon-prone zone, noting that the constant exposure to natural disasters has dulled Taiwan's people, who have developed a lack of crisis awareness. He emphasized the reality of Taiwan facing military pressure from the world's second-largest economy, and the impossibility for Taiwan to match China's military spending, capacity, or size. Given the declining birth rates, Ko stressed the critical need for Taiwan to ensure sufficient defense capabilities. 

Ko advocated for accelerating Taiwan's shift towards a modernized military strategy, remarking on the consensus on asymmetric warfare, and emphasizing accelerated developments in scientific, digital, and unmanned technologies. Ko Wen-je also highlighted that, as a maritime nation, Taiwan must contend with enhancing its self-reliance in national defense production. This includes increasing domestic assembly and maintenance capacities, in addition to indigenous production.



Steven Rudder echoed the shared vision between the U.S. and Taiwan for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Later in the meeting, he expanded the vision to include resilience in national defense collaboration, not just in asymmetric warfare but also in traditional defense warfare. Furthermore, Taiwan should draw lessons from the Ukraine-Russia war, particularly the effectiveness of unmanned systems and the importance of achieving self-sufficiency in energy, food, and overall logistic sustainment of munitions for a maritime nation like Taiwan.



Concluding the meeting, Ko Wen-je presented Hammond and Rudder with T-shirts from his "7:30 am MEETING WITH KP" series, symbolizing the strong and ongoing engagement between the parties. The hour-long interaction reflected a robust and dynamic exchange, underscoring the potential for future collaboration through forums and meetings.