Full vol­un­tary mil­i­tary a global trend: min­is­ter

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

De­fense Min­is­ter Kao Kuangchi ( ) said yesterday that it is a world­wide trend for coun­tries to con­vert their mil­i­taries into fully vol­un­teer forces as he made his first public ap­pear­ance af­ter be­ing dis­charged from hos­pi­tal af­ter an ap­pen­dec­tomy.

Dur­ing a brief­ing with Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou on the latest progress on the Tai­wan mil­i­tary’s on­go­ing push to trans­form into a fully vol­un­tary ser­vice, Kao said all ma­jor democ­ra­cies around the world have abol­ished their con­scrip­tion sys­tems and trans­formed into fully vol­un­tary forces.

To fa­cil­i­tate Tai­wan’s on­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion, Kao said that the gov­ern­ment has ap­proved two waves of pay raises last Jan­uary and this April to serve as a bet­ter in­cen­tive for sign­ing up.

The salary raise has proved suc­cess­ful as an in­cen­tive to boost re­cruit­ment as the num­ber shows that a to­tal of 15,024 men and women have de­cided to join the Armed Forces as vol­un­teer sol­diers in 2014, Kao said.

So far this year a to­tal of 6,079 Tai­wanese youths have signed up to serve, he said, adding that the mil­i­tary is con­fi­dent of grad­u­ally but steadily meet­ing the trans­for­ma­tion goal.

Kao made the com­ments dur­ing a brief­ing with Ma yesterday in the Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice. This was his first public ap­pear­ance fol­low­ing his emer­gency ap­pen­dix surgery.

An uniden­ti­fied mil­i­tary source told lo­cal media that Kao, who had un­der­gone an ap­pen­dec­tomy to sur­gi­cally re­move his ver­mi­form ap­pen­dix on June, 15, was dis­charged from Tri-Ser­vice Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal on June 19.

Kao did not show up at a joint grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony held at the R.O.C. Mil­i­tary Academy in Kaoh­si­ung last Tues­day.

He was sup­posed to be pre­sid­ing over the cer­e­mony where more than 1,000 mil­i­tary cadets from the Army, Navy and Air Force academies, as well as from the Na­tional De­fense Univer­sity and Na­tional De­fense Med­i­cal Cen­ter, were grad­u­at­ing.

Mil­i­tary spokesman Luo Shaoho later con­firmed to lo­cal media that Kao had suf­fered from acute ap­pen­dici­tis and had to un­dergo an emer­gency pro­ce­dure, which was why he did not show up at the cer­e­mony.

Re­cov­er­ing well from the surgery, Kao is sched­uled to pre­side over a sec­ond large-scale re­hearsal of a public mil­i­tary dis­play to be held to­day in Hs­inchu in prepa­ra­tion for an of­fi­cial event next month to com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of the R.O.C.’s vic­tory over Ja­pan in the Sec­ond Sino- Ja­panese War, ac­cord­ing mil­i­tary source.

A pre­vi­ous large-scale re­hearsal was held at a Hs­inchu mil­i­tary pa­rade ground on June 21. Back then the re­hearsal was presided over by Chief of the Gen­eral Staff Yen Defa ( ).

The two re­hearsals are meant to pre­pare the mil­i­tary for the of­fi­cial event that will kick off on July 4, which will be presided over by Pres­i­dent Ma.

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