Most Tai­wanese sup­port re­in­stat­ing draft: sur­vey

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

An op­po­si­tion l aw­maker yes­ter­day urged the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense ( MND) to re­con­sider its on­go­ing push to trans­form the cur­rent con­scrip­tion sys­tem into a fully vol­un­tary force af­ter a re­cent sur­vey showed that most Tai­wanese sup­port re­in­stat­ing con­scrip­tion for na­tional se­cu­rity rea­sons.

Cit­ing a re­cent sur­vey con­ducted by an aca­demic re­search in­sti­tu­tion, the Academia Sinica, Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party ( DPP) law­maker Hsiao Bi- khim ( ) called on the gov­ern­ment to re­con­sider its de­ci­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey con­ducted by Academia Sinica’s In­sti­tute of So­ci­ol­ogy ( IOS) ear­lier this year, more than 62 per­cent of re­spon­dents aged un­der 29 said they sup­port re­in­stat­ing a com­pul­sory mil­i­tary ser­vice sys­tem to boost Tai­wan’s mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­ity.

The pro­posal in fa­vor of con­scrip­tion gar­nered the sup­port of be­tween 51 and 70 per­cent of re­spon­dents in all age brack­ets, while only 30 to 40 per­cent of re­spon­dents said they were op- posed to rein­tro­duc­ing con­scrip­tion.

Say­ing that a shrink­ing gov­ern­ment bud­get could make it dif­fi­cult to com­plete the trans­for­ma­tion into a fully vol­un­tary ser­vice on time, Hsiao said at an in­ter­pel­la­tion ses­sion in the Leg­isla­tive Yuan yes­ter­day that the MND should face up to the prob­lem.

The sur­vey was con­ducted be­tween Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary this year.

Asked to com­ment, Deputy Na­tional De­fense Min­is­ter Adm. Chen Yung- kang ( ) , who fielded ques­tions dur­ing the ses­sion, yes­ter­day stressed that there is “no turn­ing back” in the on­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion.

Mean­while, dur­ing the same ses­sion, rul­ing Kuom­intang ( KMT) leg­is­la­tor Lin Yu- fang (

) openly won­dered what Hsiao’s in­ten­tion was in bring­ing up the sur­vey.

Lin opined that Hsiao’s cit­ing of the sur­vey im­plies that DPP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and Chair­woman Tsai Ing- wen (

) would rein­tro­duce con­scrip­tion if she wins the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, as Hsiao is one

her key ad­vi­sors.

DPP to Re­view Mil­i­tary Sys­tem Once in Power: Com­mit­tee Head

Mean­while, York Chen ( ), con­vener of the DPP’s de­fense pol­icy ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, yes­ter­day told the Chi­nese-lan­guage United Evening News that the DPP did take the sur­vey re­sults se­ri­ously.

If the party re­gains power in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Chen said it will pro­pose a full-scale re­view into the trans­for­ma­tion into an all-vol­un­teer ser­vice and how it im­pacts Tai­wan’s de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties within 10 months af­ter Tsai is sworn into of­fice.

The R.O.C. mil­i­tary an­nounced in late 2011 that el­i­gi­ble males born af­ter Jan. 1, 1994 will no longer need to un­dergo com­pul­sory mil­i­tary ser­vice; in­stead they will only need to un­dergo four months of mil­i­tary train­ing.

It was also an­nounced that the R.O.C. Armed Forces would be trans­formed into a fully vol­un­tary force by Jan. 1, 2015.

The MND, how­ever, in Septem­ber 2013, an­nounced that it would post­pone the abol­ish­ment of the con­scrip­tion sys­tem by two years to 2017 due to slug­gish vol­un­teer re­cruit­ment num­bers.

To boost re­cruit­ment, the gov­ern­ment has launched a se­ries of in­cen­tives and salary raise pro­grams over the past two years.

Gov­ern­ment-ini­ti­ated in­cen­tives are prov­ing suc­cess­ful af­ter the MND said that a record-high num­ber of ap­pli­cants signed up to join the R.O.C. Armed Forces in 2014.

The last batch of con­scripts born be­fore Jan­uary 1994 will be en­listed into the mil­i­tary by the end of this year be­fore the R.O.C. Armed Forces trans­forms into a fully vol­un­teer force, the MND said last month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.