(ConservativeHub.com) – Keeping up an army is no easy feat for many nations globally as potential recruits struggle to meet physical or mental requirements. In Taiwan, the government is extending the mandatory military service for males from the current four-month requirement to one year as threats from China continue to grow.
Understanding Taiwan’s Military Demands
Before 2017, the Taiwan government required men to serve in the country’s military for one year to ensure it could defend itself in the event of an invasion. In 2017, it cut the service requirement from 12 months to 4, hoping to move the army fully to a volunteer force. However, in light of increasing tensions with Beijing in recent months, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced the revised requirement for men born after 2005 to serve one year starting on January 1, 2024.
Taiwan has decided to extend mandatory military service for male citizens amid growing Chinese aggression and intensifying competition between Washington and Beijing https://t.co/QdmfWdX9EF
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 27, 2022
Many believed the involuntary 4-month service length was too short to help the nation’s military prepare against aggression. According to the Associated Press, volunteers comprise 90% of the nearly 190,000-strong Taiwanese military, with those completing their required service making up the balance.
China’s Increasing Aggression Against the Island
Taiwan announced the military service adjustment on Tuesday, December 27, a day after China’s People’s Liberation Army sent 71 warplanes near Taiwan, crossing many over the median line that separates Taiwan from mainland China. According to the Wall Street Journal, a Chinese spokesperson said the military exercise was a response to “escalating collusion and provocation by the US and Taiwan.”
White House Publicly Supports Taiwan Again
On Friday, December 23, President Joe Biden signed the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, an $858 billion defense bill, into law, authorizing additional cooperation with Taiwan and increasing relations with India regarding defense technologies and logistics. Taiwan praised the bill, while China criticized it.
This legislation allows US companies to sell up to $10 billion in weapons and military equipment to Taiwan over the next five years. The legislation followed after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island nation earlier this year. Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who hopes to become House Speaker in January when the GOP takes over, plans to travel there as well, a move that will likely spark similar pushback from China if it happens.
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