With a record-high number of Chinese military aircraft flying over Taiwan this year, the Ministry of National Defense (MND, 國防部) has announced that conscripts will be assigned to field military units after completing basic training as prior to 2018.
Starting this month, those who are eligible for military service will undergo five weeks of basic training; however, upon completion, they will be sent to field units for the following 11 weeks instead of being assigned to specialized training at military branch centers.
According to the MND, this reversal back to the 2018 policy is to help conscripts better familiarize themselves with field operations and make them more combat-ready.
This has led to second-generation migrants in Taiwan being worried about the state of national security as all those born before 1994 who have permanent residence in Taiwan will need undergo the four-month military service.
Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) reportedly said this experience would be more beneficial to conscripts as opposed to only having specialized training.
The MND released a statement claiming that field units will better prepare conscripts for combat and understand the operations of frontline troops.
The announcement also means that conscripts may be assigned to offshore islands, including Kinmen and Matsu.
Meanwhile, Chief of MND’s All-out Defense Mobilization Office, Han Gan-ming (韓岡明), said on Monday that in the event of a war, 215,000 reservists in Taiwan can be mobilized within 24 hours and another 78,000 placed on standby.
Han added that the reservists will most likely be those discharged from the military within the past years as they would be more combat-ready, according to CNA.
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