Tags: taiwan | china | compulsory | military | service

Taiwan Compulsory Military Service Upped as Pressure Mounts From China

By    |   Tuesday, 27 December 2022 06:17 PM EST

Taiwan will be expanding its compulsory military service from four months to a year starting in 2024, according to President Tsai Ing-wen, as the island faces China's military, diplomatic and trade pressure.

Taiwan split from the mainland in 1949 during a civil war but is claimed by China. The decades-old threat of invasion by China has increased since China cut off communications with their government after the 2016 election of Tsai, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party and seen by Beijing as pro-independence.

China's People's Liberation Army has upped the ante with its military harassment of Taiwan, sending fighter planes and naval vessels toward Taiwan on a nearly daily basis. The island's military now tracks those movements, often serving as training for its own military.

The more extended military service applies to men born after 2005 and will start Jan. 1, 2024. Those born before 2005 will only serve four months under the new training curriculum.

"No one wants war," Tsai said. "This is true of Taiwan's government and people and the global community, but peace does not come from the sky, and Taiwan is at the front lines of the expansion of authoritarianism."

Taiwan's current 4-month military conscription requirement was widely viewed as being too short and not providing enough training that professional soldiers needed. The government slashed the original one year to four months in 2017 after transitioning the army into an all-volunteer corps.

Out of its 188,000-person military, 90% are volunteers, and 10% are men doing their required four months of service.

The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation found in December that among Taiwanese adults, 73.2% said they would support a one-year military service. The support was across party lines from Democratic Progressives to Nationalists.

The youngest demographic from 20-24 opposes extending military service at 37.2%, while 35.6% support the extension.

"This is one of the basic steps that should have been done a long time ago," said Paul Huang, a research fellow at the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation. Huang said the implementation period in 2024, when Taiwan will elect a new president, meant Tsai was "passing the buck" to her successor.

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GlobalTalk
Taiwan will be expanding its compulsory military service from four months to a year starting in 2024, according to President Tsai Ing-wen, as the island faces China's military, diplomatic and trade pressure.
taiwan, china, compulsory, military, service
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2022-17-27
Tuesday, 27 December 2022 06:17 PM
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