Taiwan: No conscription by 2014?

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China Post reported on 13 March that Taiwan is to abolish conscription by 2014. Minister of National Defense, Chen Chao-ming, announced that Taiwan's military will become an all-volunteer force within five years. Speaking to a military committee under the Legislative Yuan, Minster Chen explained that the process would commence in 2011 and by 2014 all divisions of the R.O.C. Armed Forces will be filled with career soldiers instead of conscripts. However, a more detailed look at the announcement reveals that conscription won't be abolished completely. Chen also said: "In the future, local men will only be required to serve four months of basic military training". This in fact means that the duty to serve in the military will remain, at least for some basic military training.

In recent years Taiwan has shortened compulsory military service, most recently in December 2008 from 14 to 12 months. Up to 2004, the duration of military service was 22 months.

Sources: China Post: End of military conscription, 13 March 2009

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