The ‘Know Your Region’ series is designed to support unit and individual professional military education on the Indo-Pacific region.

Military Capability

Although the exact composition of the Taiwanese Armed Forces (Republic of China Armed Forces) is unknown, it is estimated to have around 169,000 active personnel and a further 1,660,000 reserve personnel. Its Air Force is estimated to have as many as 500 combat capable aircraft. Its Navy is estimated to have as many as 90 combat capable surface and subsurface vessels. Its Army is estimated to have numerous land combat capabilities including around 200 Multi Launch Rocket Systems, over 1000 towed and self-propelled artillery, and close to 1000 main battle tanks. Taiwan’s Navy also has an integrated Marine Corps as part of its composition. Taiwan’s Military Police force is a separate branch of the Armed Forces and is used to guard critical infrastructure, protect government leaders from assassination attempts, and deny enemy espionage and sabotage.

Taiwan has recently expanded its compulsory conscription program by requiring men born after 2005 to serve a minimum of twelve months of military service which is up from four months. This aims to increase its reserve personnel. The government has also recently announced increases in military spending. Predominantly for increases in air and naval combat systems.

For further information on the Taiwan military, see the resources below:


  1. 2023 Taiwan Military Strength (
  2. The US is quietly arming Taiwan to the teeth – BBC News
  3. Taiwan Announced a Record Defense Budget: But Is It Enough to Deter China? | Council on Foreign Relations (
  4. How prepared is Taiwan for a war with China? | Military News | Al Jazeera
  5. The Strawman Defense Is Torching Taiwan's Military | RAND
  6. How Taiwan’s Military Compares to Other Countries | TIME

Military Co-Operation with Australia

Australia is unable to conduct military co-operation activities with Taiwan due to the precarious status of Taiwan as a non-recognised state. Australia supported the one-China policy in the 1972 Joint Communique which established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), thereby recognising Taiwan as a province of the PRC.

For further information on Taiwan military co-operation with Australia, see the resources below:


  1. Enhancing Australia's Taiwan ties | Lowy Institute
  2. What are Australia’s options in a Taiwan contingency? | The Strategist (
  3. Australia-Taiwan relationship | Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (