The Republic of China on the island of Taiwan has experienced at least 20 terrorist events since 1979, including 13 aircraft hijackings and five bombings. Factors responsible for the relatively small burden of terrorism on Taiwan in the past include tight military control over political dissent until 1987, a warming relationship with the People's Republic of China in the 1990s, political inclusion of major internal cultural groups, geographic isolation, and a lack of other significant international enemies. Nevertheless, today Taiwan faces a new prospect of terrorism by adversaries of the United States and its allies and by an international paradigm shift in the types of weapons used by terrorists.
National emergency management has been enhanced significantly since the Ji Ji earthquake in 1999, including the assignment of lead government agencies to the planning and preparedness for specific types of terrorist events involving nuclear, biological, and/or chemical releases. Other significant improvements at the operations level, include the establishment of two national disaster medical assistance teams, four urban search and rescue teams, 13 local disaster medical assistance teams, and eight chemical emergency response hospitals. Future challenges include improving the coordination of inter-agency response at the national level and the quantity and quality of local disaster response assets.