Observations on Taiwan’s Intelligence Community
I. News Focus
Taiwan’s intelligence chief, head of the National Security Bureau (NSB), Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹) resigned on July 22, 2019, after an agent accompanying Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on a state visit to the Caribbean was discovered attempting to smuggle nearly USD 200,000 worth of tax-free cigarettes. On July 24, 2019, the Presidential Office announced Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) as the replacement for the NSB director-general. On August 10, 2019, Chiu meted out some “heavy disciplinary measures” and demoted twenty personnel from the Yonghe Guard Unit to new postings, in the first wave of disciplinary measures that are believed to involve 76 personnel. Chiu with his military experience is known for instilling discipline as a leader, and the appointment of Chiu has continued the unspoken tradition of appointing military leaders, rather than civilians, as the NSB director. 
II. Security Implications
1. Integrated command chain
According to Taiwan’s National Intelligence Work Act (NIWA國家情報工作法) last amended in 2005, which is similar to the US National Security Act of 1947 and Executive Order 12333 issued in 1981, there are four main intelligence agencies in Taiwan: National Security Bureau (國家安全局); Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB), General Staff Headquarters (GSH), Ministry of National Defense (MND) (國防部軍事情報局); Communication Development Office (CDO), MND-GSH (國防部電訊發展室); and Military Security Brigade (MSB) (國防部軍事安全總隊). Within the scope of relevant national intelligence matters of various ministries of the Taiwan government, the following agencies within the ministries are also regarded as intelligence agencies: The Coast Guard Administration, Ocean Affairs Council, Executive Yuan (行政院海洋委員會海巡署); the Political Warfare Bureau of the MND (國防部政治作戰局); the Military Police Command of the MND (國防部憲兵指揮部); the National Police Agency of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) (內政部警政署); the National Immigration Agency of the MOI (內政部移民署); and the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice (MJIB) (法務部調查局). As the competent authority of the NIWA is the NSB, the head of NSB is head of Taiwan’s intelligence community. 
With the appointment of Chiu after the cigarette smuggling scandal and change in leadership style, it is expected that Chiu, in accordance with Article 15 of the NIWA, as the director-general of NSB and head of Taiwan’s intelligence community, would try to integrate the commands of the various intelligence agencies to form a more unified command chain to lead the entire intelligence community to eradicate scandals and corruption, so that energy can be completely spent on countering infiltration from China and strengthening intelligence operations.
2. Adjustments in organizational culture
The appointment of Chiu will facilitate adjustments in the organizational culture of each intelligence agency in the hope that all of the agencies will work together better as a community. With a long history of its own organizational culture, each intelligence agency within Taiwan’s intelligence community usually does not trust one another. Only has the scandal of cigarette smuggling aggravated the distrust among different agencies, especially between the NSB and the MJIB, as it was the MJIB that received a tip-off from an opposition lawmaker, leading to the uncovering of the scandal. After the scandal, more efforts are expected to be put in to adjust organizational culture for different agencies, so that they will trust one another better.
3. Reinforcement in human intelligence
Human intelligence, which has still been regarded as the most important kind of intelligence even since the advent of electronic intelligence and information technology for cyber warfare, will be reinforced as more new recruits will be enlisted into the human intelligence field. The cigarette smuggling scandal only reveals that some intelligence staff members have deep-rooted bad habits passed down from long past and such misconduct need to be rectified. Moreover, human intelligence has never been popular as a career in Taiwan and thus the field is lacking in human resources and in need of new recruits. At the same time, as Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan has recently passed amendments to the Classified National Security Information Act and National Security Act which aim to protect information from leaking to China and to prevent Chinese agents from gathering intelligence in Taiwan, it is expected that more Taiwanese human intelligence personnel are to be hired to join force in countering Chinese infiltration. 
III. Trend Analysis
1. Intelligence community and system will be more strengthened
After the cigarette smuggling scandal, the appointment of Chiu as the new director-general of NSB, and the recent passage of the five amendments to the national security laws by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, it is highly expected that in the long run, Taiwan’s intelligence community will have a more integrated command chain, a more harmonized organizational culture, and a more reinforced human intelligence. In sum, the system is expected to be greatly strengthened.
2. Counter-intelligence against China and strategic intelligence cooperation with the US will be emphasized
As Taiwan’s next presidential election is coming up in January 2020, and China will be accelerating its intelligence and infiltration work to influence Taiwan’s election, it is thus a top priority for Taiwan’s intelligence community to boost up its counter-intelligence work against China in both near and distant future. At the same time, Taiwan will also cooperate with the US in strategic intelligence for forming policy and military plans. 
3. Better protection of classified security information
As Taiwan’s intelligence community will become more strengthened, its ability to protect classified security information will be also significantly enhanced. This enhanced ability to protect classified security information will assist in Taiwan’s intelligence-sharing work with like-minded security partners such as the US.
Adela Lin, “Taiwan Spy Chief Quits Over $200,000 Tax-Free Cigarettes Scandal,” Bloomberg, July 23, 2019, https://reurl.cc/q9RxE; Milo Hsieh, “Opinion: Cigarette Smuggling Scandal Reveals Problems in Taiwan’s Bureaucracy, Not Politics,” The News Lens, https://reurl.cc/z2av0; Matthew Strong, “Taiwan Intelligence Agency Chief Moves 20 Officers in Cigarette Smuggling Scandal,” Taiwan News, August 10, 2019, https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3761546; Jason Pan, “Bureau Punishes 76 Personnel over Smuggling Scandal,” Taipei Times, August 12, 2019, http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2019/08/12/2003720353.
National Intelligence Work Act (國家情報工作法), Laws and Regulations Database of The Republic of China, https://law.moj.gov.tw/LawClass/LawAll.aspx?pcode=A0020041.
Adela Lin, “Taiwan Spy Chief Quits Over $200,000 Tax-Free Cigarettes Scandal;” Milo Hsieh, “Opinion: Cigarette Smuggling Scandal Reveals Problems in Taiwan’s Bureaucracy, Not Politics.”
Kuei-Hsiang Wen, “After the Completion of the Five Amendments to the National Security Laws, President: We Will Work on Amending Laws to Restrict the PRC’s Agents in the Next Session,” Central News Agency, July 5, 2019, https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/201907050134.aspx; Hsin-Po Huang, “Ker Chien-Ming: The Last Puzzle to the Five Amendments to the National Security Laws Is Completed,” Liberty Times, July 4, 2019, https://reurl.cc/oNMWv.
 In the National Security Strategy of the United States of America released in December 2017, in the section of “Intelligence,” it states that the US intelligence community “must continuously pursue strategic intelligence” and harness all information at the US disposal by working in concert with allies and partners. Donald J. Trump, National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, p. 32, https://reurl.cc/DN2Ge.