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Defense News

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(Written by Reporter Li, Yi-Hao from Military News Agency, Taipei, August 27th)
Ministry of National Defense held “2015 Journalist Festival Dinner” today. Minister Gao Guangqi appreciated the media for the support and encouragement of the military and emphasized that the military continued to promote the “voluntary military service” and strive for the administration, preparedness, and national security.
For the celebration of the annual “Journalist Festival” on September 1st, Ministry of National Defense held “2015 Correspondent Festival Dinner” at Armed Forces Officer’s Club. Minister Gao attended the event with Chief of Staff General Yen, De-Fa and invited Director of Military News Research Association Yao, Cho-Chi and domestic and foreign journalists to participate.
Minister Gao indicated that in the past year, the military has completed the assembly of “AH-64H helicopter” and the procurement of “Black Hawk helicopter”, “P-3C anti-submarine aircraft”, and “Patriot III missile system” as scheduled under the supervision and encouragement of the media; in addition, the air forces were enhancing the performance of F-16及IDF fighters. According to “Navy Vessel Built Domestically” policy, the Navy completed the handover of Tuo River Class Corvette and Panshi Fast Combat Support Ship. These results of military administration not only promoted the industrial development of national defense, but also drove the industrial upgrade.
Speaking of “voluntary military service”, Minister Gao especially pointed out that according to Constitution of the Republic of China, nationals have the obligation of military service. Thus, the “voluntary military service” belonged to the parallel system of “voluntary and compulsory military service”. After the new system was implemented, the draftees under the compulsory military service should participate in the military training service for four months. Draftees born before the end of 1993 should join in the military service for one year, while those born after January 1, 1994 should join in the military training service. 
Minister Gao said that the length of military service had no change for draftees born before the end of 1993. Currently, 110,000 draftees should still participate in the military service for one year. The national armed forces expected to recruit 20,000 draftees next year. After the demand for national defense is satisfied, some draftees will be allocated by Ministry of the Interior to participate in the alternative service
Minister Gao further explained that the result of “voluntary military service” was divided into two dimensions. One was “recruitment” and the other was “retention”. According to related statistics, the number of recruitment reached 15,000 in the past year (2014), which exceeded the annual demand. The target demand for this year is expected to be achieved at the end of the year; as to “retention”, the retention ratio has significantly increased to 70% and above from 43% in 2012. Ministry of National Defense will continue to promote and achieve the goal of “voluntary military service”.
Last, Ministry Gao wished the attending journalists happy “Journalist Festival” in advance on behalf of all soldiers and appreciated them for recommendations, and hoped that they would continue to support the national defense and give advice to the national armed forces.