Taiwan: changes to conscription imminent

Taiwanese men born after 1994 will not be drafted to serve a full year starting next year as Taipei seeks to end conscription in a shift towards building a “stronger, smaller, smarter” army. Conscripted soldiers make up around 60% of Taiwan’s military.

However, they will still be enlisted for four months of training 'until deciding on whether to pursue a military career and serve the country' – our CO Update from 2010 aptly called this move 'How not to abolish conscription'. The changes will cut the army down from 270,000 to 215,000 soldiers.

Sources: Asia Daily Wire: Taiwan ends conscription, will build an ‘elite’ army, 22 November 2012; Financial Times: Taiwan prepares for end of conscription, 21 November 2012.