A New Policy Drafted: Will Taiwan resume conscription?

For decades, Taiwan had mandatory conscription with a year’s service, and mandatory annual exercises for the reserves.  The public’s dislike of the draft, combined with the (then) perceived lack of threat from China, led in 2019 to a reduction in service length, and no conscription at all for some.  Taiwan’s government is now rethinking that policy.

Changes to conscription not imminent: Taiwan defense minister

Extension of mandatory military service unlikely before next year

The government will study proposals to lengthen the conscription period from four months to one year, but any changes will not take effect this year, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said Wednesday (March 23).

Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, experts pondering China’s designs on Taiwan have recommended that the country’s compulsory four months of military service is too short to build an effective defense force. The most common suggestion is for the period to be increased to one year.

Asked for his opinion by legislators Wednesday, Chiu said no precise length has been decided but that a report on the issue would be completed this year. However, any changes will not be implemented until at least one year after they are agreed upon by the government, CNA reported.

This potential change follows warnings that the mass murdering regime in Beijing was mulling over whether to invade later this year, a followup to all the posturing and illegal incursions into Taiwan’s airspace.  Ukraine’s defence of its land, combined with more countries aligning with Taiwan over China has likely made the regime hesitant.

Xi considered invading Taiwan this fall: FSB whistleblower

Document believed to be leaked from Russian FSB claims Xi considered invading Taiwan in fall for ‘little victory to get re-elected’

A whistleblower from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) had considered launching an invasion of Taiwan in the fall of this year before the “window of opportunity” closed with the disastrous Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The head of the Russian human rights group Gulagu Net, Vladimir Osechkin, recently on Facebook began releasing documents containing Russian intelligence concerning the war in Ukraine. One document, which Osechkin claimed was written by an intelligence officer from an analytical unit of the FSB, apparently revealed China’s original timeline for attacking Taiwan before Russia began its invasion.

Whether this is true or not, it is a wakeup call, and some younger people are changing their attitudes toward military service.

Two opinion pieces were posted on Taiwan News, “The Taiwan Territorial Defense Force needs you”, and “It’s time to open up Taiwan’s reserves to foreign workers”.  I doubt Taiwan’s military would take in recruits, even if they had military training, but volunteers for logistics and medical care would likely be welcome.

I really should get back in shape, just in case.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    … considered launching an invasion of Taiwan in the fall of this year before the “window of opportunity” closed with the disastrous Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    So they planned an invasion to occur right before or during the Olympics? Seems unlikely, after all that PR investment.

  2. Jazzlet says

    Pierce R. Butler #1
    “the fall of this year” would be the autumn coming up, not the preceding autumn, which was last year.

  3. brucegee1962 says

    If nothing else, the Ukraine invasion ought to remind the Chinese authorities that wars have casualties even (and perhaps especially) for the dominant side. With so many parents pinning all their hopes on a single child, how many casualties could they sustain before there would be an uprising of the bereaved whose family legacies were cut off?