In December 2016, the Defense Minister of Taiwan, Feng Shih-kuan, announced that 2017 will be the last year young men will be required to serve in the military and that by 2018 military conscription will be abolished in the country.
Replying to a question from Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei, the Defense Minister also said that he hopes that young people will join the military “voluntarily” with the “accelerating threat from China”. He has also stressed that their decision to end conscription is clear and it will not change.
However, the Ministry of Defense spokesman Chen Chung-chi was not as certain as the minister himself in his statement about the issue. He said "if the recruitment of an all-volunteer force reaches its goal, it will not be necessary to draft men born in 1993 and before into military service in 2018."
As reported by Focus Taiwan, this is not the first time the abolishment of compulsory military service has been in the agenda of the Taiwanese Government. In January 2016, as part of a shift to an all-volunteer force, the Ministry of Defense decided to stop the compulsory draft. The decision, however, has since been changed several times due to lower-than-expected recruitment numbers.
Source: Focus Taiwan, Military conscription to stop completely from 2018: defense minister, 12th December 2016.
Photo: Tai Gray (via Flickr)