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.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 06 December 2013


Due to its international status, Taiwan cannot accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Since 1999, officials have expressed Taiwan’s support for a ban on antipersonnel mines; Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou signed a declaration in August 2007 that supports a complete ban on antipersonnel mines.

At a meeting held on the margins of the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in November–December 2010, a representative stated that Taiwan still feels the need to keep stockpiles of antipersonnel mines due to uncertainty in its security situation but that the new government is encouraging and accelerating the people-to-people interactions between Taiwan and China, thus creating more favorable conditions for a total ban on landmines.[1]

In 2006, the Legislative Yuan enacted the Antipersonnel Landmines Regulations Act. It prohibits production and trade of antipersonnel mines,[2] sets a deadline for clearance of existing minefields (which was achieved in June 2013), and provides for compensation for future victims.[3] However, the law permits stockpiling of antipersonnel mines as well as their use “when it is imperative during war.”[4]

In June 2013, an ICBL delegation and members of ICBL country campaigns in Japan and Korea were invited to Taiwan for events celebrating the completion by Taiwan of its mine clearance obligation under the 2006 Act. During a meeting by the ICBL delegation with President Ma Ying-jeou at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, ICBL Executive Director Sylvie Brigot-Vilain encouraged Taiwan to fully incorporate the Mine Ban Treaty into domestic law. In 2009, a research project commissioned by the Ministry of Justice also suggested the government create an internal law which fully implemented the obligations in the Mine Ban Treaty.[5]

Taiwan has not provided details on the size or composition of its remaining stockpile of antipersonnel mines.[6] In June 2013, Vice-Defense Minister Liao Jung-hsing said Taiwan would not accelerate its stockpile destruction, citing the fact that “big powers like Russia and mainland China have not signed the treaty.”[7] However, the Vice-Minister also stated that since 2007 there has continually been a budgeted destruction of expiring mines, although he refused to reveal the amount destroyed per year.

The Kinmen Defense Command acknowledged that antipersonnel mines are stockpiled on the island. However, they noted that as these mines expire they are destroyed by a third party; once all the mines expire they will no longer have a stockpile. The use of the mines would require authorization of a minister or the president.[8] The amount and types of expired mines destroyed is considered a military secret.[9]


[1] ICBL meeting with Amb. Kelly W. Hsieh, Director General, Bureau de Genève, Délégation Culturelle et Économique de Taipei, Geneva, 30 November 2010.

[2] Taiwan has stated that it stopped production of antipersonnel mines in 1982. It is not known to have ever exported mines. Letter from General Kwan-Dan Lai, Military Combat and Planning Staff Office, Ministry of National Defense, 2 March 2004.

[3] Global Legal Information Network, Legislative Yuan, www.glin.ly.gov.tw/. For more information on the development of the legislation and its provisions, see Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 1,189–1,190.

[4]Global Legal Information Network, Legislative Yuan, www.glin.ly.gov.tw/. In 2001, a Ministry of National Defense spokesperson stated that Taiwan no longer used antipersonnel mines, although the ministry acknowledged in 2004 that some of the minefields on the offshore islands had been maintained due to the military threat from China. Letter from Gen. Kwan-Dan Lai, Ministry of National Defense, 2 March 2004.

[5] Project No. MOJ-LAC-9801, “Adopting International law domestically: the Practice,” 29 Oct. 2009, p. 64, www.moj.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=179178&ctNode=28056&mp=001.

[6] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1,238, for known details on Taiwan’s past production, stockpiling, and destruction of antipersonnel mines. In 2002, Taiwan sent 42,175 stockpiled antipersonnel mines to Germany for destruction.

[7] Francis Kuo, “Taiwan refuses to destroy landmines,” UCA News, 17 June 2013, www.ucanews.com/news/taiwan-refuses-to-destroy-landmines/68535.

[8] Meeting with Gen. Ren, Kinmen Defense Command, Kinmen Island, 14 November 2010.

[9] Telephone interview with Col. Ou Bing-Zhe, Ministry of National Defense, 28 June 2013.

Mine Action

Last updated: 26 November 2013

Contamination and Impact

Taiwan’s mine contamination was a result of military emplacement of mines on the beaches and coastline of the islands of Kinmen and Matsu to resist possible invasion from China. These have been largely cleared. Taiwan also has unexploded ordnance (UXO) resulting from Chinese artillery bombardments that continued until the 1970s.


In June 2008, the Ministry of National Defense announced that it had identified 154 minefields covering approximately 3.4km² in Kinmen County and 154 minefields covering approximately 0.4km² in Matsu.[1] The army reported that it had cleared all of Matsu’s 154 mined areas in April 2011[2] and announced in June 2013 that the 154 known mined areas in Kinmen County had been cleared by the end of 2012.[3]

However, the army continued to investigate land outside the known minefields and found “drifted” and scattered mines at 53 locations on Kinmen and 57 locations on Matsu. In February 2012, the ministry said it had found five scattered mine hazards covering 54,317 m² in Wu-chiou, an area of Kinmen under the control of the Navy in addition to other areas of both Kinmen and Matsu.[4]

Other explosive remnants of war

Taiwan is affected to a lesser extent by UXO left from conflicts dating back to World War II or before—some of it too old to identify—as well as from more recent military training.[5] Items cleared in 2011 included mainly aircraft bombs, mortars, and hand grenades.[6] Contamination is not believed to include cluster munition remnants.

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 January 2013

National mine action authority

Ministry of National Defense

Mine action center


International demining operators


National demining operators

Army Demining Division (ADD)

International risk education operators


National risk education operators

Division of Army Engineers

The Antipersonnel Landmines Regulations Act that came into effect in June 2006 required the Ministry of National Defense to disclose the location of all minefields and to complete clearance of all mines within seven years (by 2013).[7] Under the Regulations on Eradication of Antipersonnel Landmines in Minefield published by the Ministry of National Defense in January 2008, the ministry is the national mine action authority responsible for setting policy, approving programs and annual plans, and for monitoring the safety and environmental impact of demining. The army is responsible for implementing policy. It prepares mine action plans, arranges funding, and calls for tenders, as well as coordinating, implementing, and reviewing operations.[8]

The regulations required the Ministry of National Defense to give top demining priority to land needed for development, followed by regions that are not militarily sensitive, and lastly “military surveillance regions” where the ministry considered Taiwan needed alternative forms of defense.[9] However, officials reported in 2012 that all land required for development had already been cleared and that all remaining mined areas would be cleared by the end of that year.[10]

Land Release

After six years of organized demining, in 2012 Taiwan completed clearance of recorded minefields; however, the ADD continued to investigate and clear locations affected by scattered mines and UXO.[11]

Summary of clearance[12]




Total (m²)

mined area cleared (m²)

mined area cleared (m²)




























Mine clearance in 2012

The ADD completed clearance of known mined areas in Kinmen in 2012 after demining a total of 259,027m²and destroying 7,404 mines, of which 5,240 were antipersonnel mines.[13] Most of the land was released to the Kinmen County government and Kinmen National Park.[14]

Mined area clearance in 2012[15]

Name of operator

Total size of mined area released by clearance (m²)

No. of antipersonnel mines destroyed

No. of antivehicle mines destroyed

No. of UXO destroyed

















ADD, however, has continued to survey land outside the known mined areas it has cleared, following reports of the presence of scattered mines or mines that migrated beyond their perimeters. ADD conducted clearance in two phases. In the first phase, ADD investigated up to 30 meters beyond the perimeter of known mined hazards; in the second, it created a grid map and checked each grid square. ADD identified a total of 110 locations with mines in Kinmen (53 locations, apart from Wu-chiou) and Matsu (57 locations). It completed clearance of the Kinmen locations in May 2013 and the Matsu locations in June 2013.[16] The army expected to complete the process of checking Wu-chiou in 2013.[17]

Clearance of mined areas outside recorded minefields[18]


No. of mined locations

No. of mines

No. of UXOs



















[1] Ministry of National Defense, “Notice, 9 June 2008,” Executive Yuan Gazette Online, Vol. 014, No. 111, 12 June 2008.

[2] Interview with Capt. Tang En-Kuei, ADD, Army Matsu Defense Command, 24 May, 2011.

[3] Presentation by Col. Chao Chun-Kuen, Chief of ADD, Army Kinmen Defense Command, 14 June 2013.

[4] Ministry of National Defense, “Public Bulletin: Marked Minefields in Wu-chiou,” 15 February 2012; fax from Maj. Chung Tsao-Ni, Division of Army Engineers, Army Command Headquarters, Ministry of National Defense, 28 June 2013. Although reported in the bulletin as “minefields,” the five areas were contaminated by scattered mines.

[5] Telephone interview with Maj. Lee Jhong-Fa, Division of Army Engineers, 5 August 2009.

[6] Fax from Lt.-Col. Ou Bing-Zhe, Warfare Office, General Staff Headquarters, Ministry of National Defense, 30 March 2012.

[7] Laws and Regulations Database of the Republic of China, “Antipersonnel Landmines Regulation Act”.

[8] Ministry of Justice, “Regulations Governing Casualty Mine Clearance in Minefield,” 18 January 2008; and interview with Section Chief Chen Huang-Chen, Division of Army Engineers, Kinmen, 1 May 2008.

[9] Ministry of Justice, “Regulations on Eradication of Antipersonnel Landmines in Minefields,” 18 January 2008; and letter from Lt.-Gen. Cheng Shih-Yu, Ministry of National Defense, 1 May 2006.

[10] Telephone interviews with Col. Zhong Zhao-Ni, Division of Army Engineers, 3 April 2012, and with Lt.-Col. Ou Bing-Zhe, Ministry of National Defense, 26 March 2012; and fax from Lt.-Col. Ou Bing-Zhe, Ministry of National Defense, 30 March 2012.

[11] Ministry of National Defense, “Public Bulletin: Marked Minefields Released in Kinmen and Matsu,” 10 June 2013; and Ministry of National Defense, “Public Bulletin: Marked Minefields Released in Wu-chiou,” 10 June, 2013.

[12] Letter from Lt.-Col. Ou Bing-Zhe, Ministry of National Defense, 5 June 2013.

[13] Presentation by Col. Chao Chun-Kuen, Army Kinmen Defense Command, 14 June 2013.

[14] Letter from Lt.-Col. Ou Bing-Zhe, Ministry of National Defense, 5 June 2013.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Presentation by Col. Chao Chun-Kuen, Army Kinmen Defense Command, 14 June 2013; and Ministry of National Defense, “Public Bulletin: Marked Minefields Released in Kinmen and Matsu,” 10 June 2013.

[17] Telephone interview with Lt.-Col. Ou Bing-Zhe, Ministry of National Defense, 28 June 2013.

[18] Fax from Maj. Chung Tsao-Ni, Ministry of National Defense, 28 June 2013.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 07 October 2013

In 2012, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided US$200,000 to the American NGO “The Humpty Dumpty Institute” (HDI) in partnership with Project Renew to clear unexploded ordnance (UXO) and reduce poverty in Quang Tri province in Vietnam. The project benefits people with disabilities who earn income from growing and selling mushrooms. Profits earned from mushroom farming are used to support UXO clearance.[1]

Summary of contributions: 2010–2012[2]


Amount ($)











[1]Taiwan makes fresh donation to help Vietnamese landmine victims,” Focus Taiwan (New York), 24 May 2013; and HDI website, “Current Program: Vietnam.”

[2] See Landmine Monitor reports 2008–2011; and ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Taiwan: Support for Mine Action,” 19 September 2012.