End of conscription in Taiwan delayed

Plans for conscription to be suspended in Taiwan have been delayed. This is due to 'recruitment difficulties'. The Ministry of Defence have apparently experienced difficulties recruiting sufficient volunteers in the past 20 months since the plan was approved the plan last year and has been forced to defer implementation.

The project was originally scheduled for completion at the end of 2014, with a formal launch at the start of 2015. It is likely to be delayed for at least one year.

The Taiwanese military have also been hit by allegations of abuse after a conscript, corporal Hung Chung-chiu, died of heatstroke on July 4. Hung's family believe the 24-year-old's death was brought on by excessive exercise forced upon him as punishment for taking a smartphone onto his army base.

A spokesman for the main opposition party said "The case could not have come at a worse time. I'm afraid the outlook for the professional soldier recruitment plan is grim".

Sources: CO-Update, Taiwan: changes to conscription imminent, 14 December 2012; Fox News, Soldier death hits Taiwan plans to end conscription, 26 July 2013; Global Post, Taiwan military delays plan to scrap conscription, 12 September 2013; Taipei Times, Soldier death hits Taiwan plans to end conscription, 13 September 2013; Focus Taiwan, Recruitment snag delays launch of all-volunteer military till 2016, 12 September 2013.