KMT misinterpreting DPP draft stance: Tsai
Chairwoman and presidential candidate of the Democratic Progress Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen ( ) yesterday accused the Kuomintang (KMT) of deliberately misinterpreting the DPP’s criticism against full voluntary military recruitment as advocacy for the return of compulsory military service.
KMT Legislator Lin Yu- fang ( ) publicly called upon the younger generations of Taiwan yesterday to vote for the KMT presidential candidate to support voluntary military service, saying that by voting for the DPP candidate, one is voting in favor of compulsory military service.
DPP Supports Voluntary Force
In response, Tsai claimed that this is a deliberate misinterpreta- tion, which is a mere political gesture with no factual basis. “Lin’s appeal to the public is untruthful and incorrect,” said Tsai. “It turns this serious national issue into an irrational debate between political parties,” she said.
“The DPP shows no advocacy for compulsory military service system,” added former Premier Frank Hsieh ( ). Former Premier Yu Shyi-kun ( ) also said at the DPP’s Central Standing Committee yesterday that “we (the DPP) had promoted voluntary military service since the 2000 presidential election, and then advocated for the policy as ruling party for the following eight years.”
Seeking New Military System:
According to Tsai, the DPP deplores the KMT’s method of promoting a fully volunteer military as it is not conducive to Taiwan’s current situation. Tsai said the DPP believes Taiwan needs to develop a new, improved military.
The voluntary service that the KMT is about to launch is worrying and full of faults, said Tsai. The chairwoman said that it is not only insufficient in recruitment, but it has also caused insecurity and instability within the military.
“As I am running in the 2016 presidential election, I will confront this issue seriously and won’t pretend that it doesn’t exist,” Tsai said.
Tsai said that Taiwan should seek to combine the compulsory and voluntary military service into a new system that not only ensures national security, but also allows soldiers to connect to the outside world while serving. She said military training is useful to soldiers’ future careers.