Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 August 2016

Summary: Taiwan is not able to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions or attend any of the convention’s meetings due to its international status.

Taiwan states it has never used cluster munitions, but it has imported them. In September 2015, the Ministry of Defense clarified that Taiwan is not manufacturing two cluster munitions as previously reported by the Monitor. Taiwan has not disclosed information on the quantity or types of its stockpiled cluster munitions.


Due to its international status, Taiwan cannot accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In September 2011, the Legislative Yuan (Parliament) Research Bureau recommended that cluster munitions be incorporated into Taiwan’s Antipersonnel Landmines Regulations Act and proposed that the Ministry of National Defense destroy Taiwan’s stockpile of cluster munitions within eight years, which is the time period required by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[1] The Ministry of National Defense opposed the recommendation and a spokesperson said, “Taiwan has to possess and stockpile cluster munitions to counter the military threat from China,” which has not joined the convention.[2]

In July 2008, the Ministry of National Defense stated that Taiwan could only ban cluster munitions if the convention gains universal support and all countries ban their use. It also said Taiwan needs cluster munitions to attack enemy ships and landing craft in waters close to Taiwan, and to attack enemy airfields.[3] CMC campaign member Eden International (formerly Eden Social Welfare Foundation) has translated and distributed copies of Cluster Munition Monitor reports during advocacy activities supporting the ban on cluster munitions.[4]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Taiwan has never used cluster munitions, but it produces cluster munitions and has imported them. Taiwan has not disclosed information on the quantity or types of its stockpiled cluster munitions.[5]

In September 2015, Taiwan said that two types of weapons it has produced, which Cluster Munition Monitor has listed as cluster munitions in the past, are not cluster munitions. According to a September 2015 letter to Eden International, the Ministry of National Defense stated that neither the RT-2000 multiple launch rocket system or the Wan-Jian missile system have a cluster munition payload version.[6] In June and July 2016, a Defense ministry representative told Eden International that Taiwan decided not to produce a cluster munition variant of these weapons because the government wishes to abide by relevant international treaties.[7]

Previously the Monitor noted that the RT-2000 could reportedly utilize either unitary high-explosive warheads or cluster warheads containing M77 dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunition.[8] The Monitor also cited reports that each air-launched Wan-Jian missile carried 100–120 submunitions.[9]

Taiwan has imported a large number of air-delivered cluster bombs from the United States (US) and is reported to possess CBU-24, CBU-49, CBU-52, CBU-58, CBU-71, and Rockeye cluster bombs.[10] Taiwan has also imported Hydra-70 air-to-surface unguided rocket system, but it is not known if the ammunition types available to it include the M261 Multi-Purpose Submunition rocket.[11] In 2011, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued a notification of a sale of 64 CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapons to Taiwan.[12]

[1] Kuo Hsien-Chung, Case Study A00921, “Exploration of issues related to our cluster munitions control from the perspective of international humanitarian law,” Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China Legal Research Bureau.

[2] Shao-Hsuen, “Non-humane! Ban humane munition? MND oppose,” The United Daily News, p. A12, 10 October 2011.

[3] Hsu Shao-Hsuen, “MND says Taiwan is ready to make cluster-bombs,” Taipei Times, 5 July 2008; and Hung Che-Cheng and Wu Sheng-Hung, “Expose IDF load with Wan-Jian missiles,” Apple Daily, 23 July 2008.

[4] Email from Sharon Yang, Researcher, Eden International, 15 July 2015.

[5] Taiwanese officials have informed the Monitor that information on the number and types of cluster munitions possessed by Taiwan is a military secret.

[6] Letter to Eden International from the Ministry of National Defense, 22 September 2015.

[7] Telephone interviews with an officer who preferred to remain anonymous at the Armaments Bureau, Ministry of National Defense, Taipei, 28 June 2016, and 11 July 2016.

[8] Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), p. 700.

[9] Yung-Chieh Chou, “Wan-Chien Missile has passed the initial operational test and evaluation, to promote air force extended-range strike ability,” Central News Agency, 8 September 2010; and the Ministry of National Defense 2011 National Defense Budget statement in Central Government General Budget Proposal of the Republic of China in 2011.

[10] Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2007–2008, CD-edition, 15 January 2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

[11] Ibid.

[12] Defense Security Cooperation Agency, “Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States - Retrofit of F-16A/B Aircraft,” Release No. 11-39, 21 September 2011.