Last Updated: 06 December 2013

Mine Ban Policy


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.