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Taiwan Begins 1-Year Mandatory Military Service Amid China Threat

Taiwan has 215,000 active military personnel.
New conscripts get their heads shaved at Chenggong Ling military training camp in Taichung yesterday. CNA
New conscripts get their heads shaved at Chenggong Ling military training camp in Taichung yesterday. CNA

Amid growing concern about China’s aggression towards Taiwan, the island nation on Thursday inducted the first group of conscripts who are required to serve for 12 months of active military duty.

Since 2018, draftees were only required to provide 4 months of continuous service.

The new regulations, announced on Dec. 27, 2022, include eight weeks of basic training and 44 weeks of actual domestic deployment.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen explained that the previous requirements “no longer suit the needs” of the country’s security demands.

The Taiwanese Army released a statement saying that the new regulations, “Will not only enhance immediate combat effectiveness but will also improve the quality of reserve personnel, strengthen mobilization energy, and enhance the overall combat effectiveness of national defense.”

Beijing has long maintained that Taiwan is a bona fide province of China and has stated its desire to reunify it with the mainland. Over the last several years, the Chinese military has launched numerous air and naval ‘exercises’ in and around the island’s territorial waters.

On several occasions these incursions have been accompanied by Russian forces.

Last month, China’s President Xi Jinping announced that Taiwan “will inevitably be reunified” within his borders. The leader has threatened to implement reunification by force if necessary.

Related Story: Xi Jinping Vows China ‘Will Inevitably Be Reunified’ with Taiwan

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