Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 16 November 2021


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 landmines. In August 2007, Taiwan’s then-President Ma Ying-jeou signed a declaration that supported a complete ban on antipersonnel mines.

In 2006, the Legislative Yuan enacted the Antipersonnel Landmines Regulations Act.[1] It prohibits the production and trade of antipersonnel mines,[2] set 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 possession of a residual stockpile of antipersonnel mines until they are expired and destroyed, and allows for use of the residual stockpile “when it is imperative during war.”[4] The law does not allow for the replacement of expiring antipersonnel mines with new stocks, meaning that once the current stockpile expires, it will not be replaced.

In 2009, a research project commissioned by the Ministry of Justice suggested that the government create another internal law to fully implement the obligations contained in the Mine Ban Treaty.[5] In May 2019, the Legislative Yuan amended the 2006 Antipersonnel Landmines Regulations Act to strengthen the prohibitions on development, manufacture, deployment, storage, and transfer.[6]

In June 2013, an ICBL delegation and members of ICBL country campaigns in Japan and South Korea were invited to Taiwan for events celebrating the completion of mine clearance under the 2006 Antipersonnel Landmines Regulation Act. During a meeting between the ICBL delegation and then-President Ma Ying-jeou at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, the ICBL Executive Director encouraged Taiwan to fully incorporate the Mine Ban Treaty into domestic law.


As of August 2020, Taiwan possessed a stockpile of 521,957 antipersonnel landmines.[7] However, during 2020 and early 2021, Taiwan commissioned the destruction of 4,601 landmines “of poor quality.”[8] Previously, in June 2013, Vice-Defense Minister Liao Jung-hsing said that Taiwan would not accelerate its stockpile destruction, citing the fact that “big powers like Russia and mainland China have not signed the treaty.”[9] However, the Vice-Defense Minister also stated that since 2007 there had continually been a budgeted destruction of expiring mines. During the period 2017–2019, Taiwan destroyed 210,766 antipersonnel landmines.[10]

The Kinmen Defense Command has acknowledged that antipersonnel mines are stockpiled on the island. However, it noted that as these mines expire, they will be destroyed by a third party; and therefore, once all of the mines expire, Taiwan will no longer have a stockpile. Use of the mines would require authorization of a government minister or the president.[11]

[1] Law and Regulations Database of the Republic of China, “2006 Antipersonnel Landmines Regulations Act,” updated 19 June 2019.

[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. For more information on the development of the legislation and its provisions, see, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, July 2006), pp. 1,189–1,190.

[4] Global Legal Information Network, Legislative Yuan. 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 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] Taiwan Ministry of Justice, Project No. MOJ-LAC-9801, “Adopting International law domestically: the Practice,” 29 October 2009, p. 64.

[6] “The Legislative Yuan reads the ‘Regulations on the Control of Anti-personnel Landmines’ for the third time. All equipment, raw materials and equipment are confiscated,” Apple Daily, 31 May 2019. The Legislative Yuan passed the third reading of the amendment to Article 9 of the Antipersonnel Landmines Regulations Act to criminalize violations of the act, whether intentional or not. The Act already stipulates a fixed-term imprisonment of more than seven years and a fine of NT$500,000 (US$16,178) or more, and confiscation of any equipment, finished products, semi-finished products, or raw materials. Average exchange rate for 2019: US$1=NT$30.91. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 25 October 2021.

[7] Reply to question asked to the Ministry of National Defense in the Legislative Yuan, in the June–July session, by Legislator Tsai Shih Ying. The response was received by ICBL partner Eden International, 24 August 2020.

[8] Ministry of National Defense reply to question sent by ICBL partner Eden International, 19 July 2021.

[9] Francis Kuo, “Taiwan refuses to destroy landmines,” UCA News, 17 June 2013.

[10] Reply to question asked to the Ministry of National Defense in the Legislative Yuan, in the June–July session, by Legislator Tsai Shih Ying. The response was received by ICBL partner Eden International, 24 August 2020.

[11] Monitor meeting with Gen. Ren, Kinmen Defense Command, Kinmen Islands, 14 November 2010.