Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Military conscription to be abolished in 2015

Military conscription to be abolished in 2015


Military  conscription to be abolished in 2015Taiwan aims to abolish the compulsory military service system starting 2015.(CNA)

Beginning in 2015, the compulsory military service system that generations of Taiwanese males have had to undergo will be abolished, it has been announced.

In other words, males born after Jan.1, 1995 will not be required to undergo the one to two years of military service that has historically been required of all Taiwanese men. They will still need to receive four months of basic training, however.

Males born before Dec. 31, 1992 will still need to undergo military training. Even if these males do not perform their military services until after 2015, they will be required to perform one year of compulsory military service duties.

As to males born in between Jan.1, 1993 and Dec.31, 1994, their fate is still not entirely clear. The Ministry of National Defense has not announced if 1993 or 1994 will be the final dividing line separating those who do and do not have to perform compulsory military duties.

In regards to the uncertainty, Wang Chun-chiang, director-general of the Department of Manpower at the MND, explained July 14 that the issue has not been decided and is still under review.

But the MND will follow the requirements of the Legislative Yuan and make a decision at the very latest one year before the new system takes effect.

When the MND reaches a decision, it will submit it to the Executive Yuan. After the Executive Yuan approves of the decision, the MND will make a formal announcement on the matter, Wang said.

In terms of funding the new all-volunteer force, Lin Yu-pao, deputy minister of national defense, admitted that a volunteer force would be more costly than a conscription force. However, the extra costs are not as high as others have speculated, Lin said.

In order to fund the new forces, the MND does not rule out requesting additional funds from the Executive Yuan, said Jaw I-ming, director general of the MND's Comptroller Bureau.

In principle the MND hopes that its total budget will be less than 3 percent of the gross domestic product. If its budget exceeds 3 percent of the GDP, one acceptable solution would be to have personnel costs make up 45 percent of the entire military budget, up from 40 percent, Jaw said.

Enlisted men will serve a period of four years after the new system takes effect in 2015. After one year, enlistees can apply to become non-commissioned officers. The salary for an enlisted soldier would be roughly NT$35,000 (US$1,060) per month, about twice as high as the basic labor wage. (HZW)

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