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Asia

Taiwan to extend mandatory military service to one year, citing China threat

TAIPEI: Taiwan on Tuesday (Dec 27) announced an extension in mandatory military service from four months to one year, citing the threat from an increasingly hostile China.

Beijing considers self-ruled, democratic Taiwan a part of its territory, to be taken one day, by force if necessary, and the island lives under the constant fear of a Chinese invasion.

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s sabre-rattling has intensified in recent years, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deepened worries in Taiwan that Beijing might move similarly to annex the island.

China’s “intimidation and threats against Taiwan are getting more obvious”, President Tsai Ing-wen told a press conference.

“No one wants war … but my fellow countrymen, peace will not fall from the sky.”

“The current four-month military service is not enough to meet the fast and ever-changing situation,” she added.

“We have decided to restore the one-year military service from 2024.”

The extended requirement will apply to men born after Jan 1, 2005, Tsai said.

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