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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Taiwan will increase its military conscription in response to China's threat

'Taiwan to extend compulsory military service on China threat'

TAIPEI: A senior government official claims that Taiwan will announce on Tuesday a plan to increase the length of mandatory military service from the current four months to one year in response to increasing Chinese military pressure.

According to the office of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, she will call a national security meeting on Tuesday morning to talk about strengthening the island's civil defense. After that, she will hold a news conference about unknown new measures for the island's civil defense.

According to the official, who declined to be identified due to the confidentiality of the information, Tsai's security team, which includes high-level officials from the defense ministry and the National Security Council, has been reviewing Taiwan's military system since 2020 in light of rapidly increasing Chinese threats.

The person who participated in the high-level security discussion stated, "China's various unilateral behaviors have become a major concern for regional security."

According to the official, the new system is expected to take effect in 2024 and would also include strengthening shooting exercises and introducing combat instruction used by US forces as part of the military reform.

The defense ministry of Taiwan declined to comment.

According to government and ruling party sources familiar with the situation, the official Central News Agency first reported late on Monday that her government would announce the plan to extend mandatory military service on Tuesday.

While China's growing assertiveness toward the island it claims as its own and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have sparked debate about how to boost defense, Taiwan has been gradually transitioning from a conscript military to a volunteer-dominated professional force. The war is called a "special operation" by Russia.

On Monday, Taipei reported the largest-ever Chinese air force incursion into the island's air defence identification zone, with 43 Chinese planes crossing an unofficial buffer. Taipei rejects Beijing's sovereignty claims.

In August, following a visit to Taipei by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China also held war games near Taiwan.

As tensions between Taipei and Beijing eased, previous governments led by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the main opposition Kuomintang reduced men's mandatory service from more than two years to four months to please younger voters.

Tsai is in charge of a comprehensive modernization plan and advocates "asymmetric warfare" to make the island's forces more mobile, agile, and difficult to attack.

China has moved forward its strategic, military and financial tension lately on oneself administered island to acknowledge Beijing's standard. The government of Taiwan declares that only Taiwanese citizens can decide their own future and pledges to defend itself in the event of an attack.

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