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Ministry of National Defense Press Release

Time: July 8th, 2019 at 11:50 a.m.

Regarding the media coverage of “Conscription Cannot be Fully Abolished, Difficult in Recruiting Reserved Non-commissioned Officers, Recruitment Is Unable to Maintain a Long Period of Stable Manpower“, Ministry of National Defense has provided the following clarifications and explanations today (8th):

1. The ministry hereby clarifies that the current military service system of Republic of China is a duo system of recruitment and conscription, and not a full recruitment system, and that conscription has not been abolished due to the adhering of specifications within the Constitution of the Republic of China. The purpose for the ministry promoting the recruitment system is to recruit and cultivate “long service period, strong willingness, profound experience” volunteer manpower, which is then used to construct a modernized troop that is “adequate in quantity, superior in quality, and strong in combat capability”; furthermore, by adhering to the military service specifications in the Constitution, servicemen must still undergo the 4-month regular service military training, and will be incorporated into the reserved mobilization list, in order to achieve the military command requirement of “minimize military force in peaceful time and maximize during wartime”.

2. Regarding the Armed Forces’ expected recruitment of 1,476 reserved non-commissioned officers in 2017, as the diversified recruitment produced excellent results, the volunteer military manpower has been growing steadily, hence the policy in February 2017 announced that the 1-year conscription of compulsory servicemen will be terminated since 2018, which led to a reduction in the reserved non-commissioned officers that year, though it did not impact the overall recruitment effectiveness. In regard to the Armed Forces promoting the recruitment system, under the overall supporting measures of the government improving on living facilities and adjusting conditions with additional “treatment, pride, channels”, the compilation has increased from 77.06% in 2016 to the current 84.33%, with a retention rate of 75%; the 90% recruitment system goal is expected to be achieved at the end of 2020, and the existing duo recruitment and conscription system is being implemented smoothly as of now.

3. In order to agglomerate the idea of national defense for the citizens, the ministry has been exerting its efforts into the promotion of national defense education through activities including opening camp sites to the public and visiting campuses that were participated by a total of more than 250,000 people in 2018, which has effectively inspired the awareness of national patriotism. Furthermore, the verification of reserved soldiers for muster-call in recent years has reached more than 98% in average between 2017 and 2019, indicating that the national defense education has produced profound results.

4. Under the active support from the government, the volunteer military manpower continues to grow steadily; 139 colleges have signed 129 ROTC, and 506 senior high schools & vocational schools have signed 313 National Defense Cultivation Classes, effectively establishing a sustainable mechanism for recruitment. Ministry of National Defense stated that in order to respond to the threats of enemies, various combat training preparedness focus on pragmatic as foundation and actual combat as the target, and the Han Kuang Exercise this year has verified that the training results and defensive combat capability of the Armed Forces since the promotion of recruitment have effectively elevated. The Armed Forces are confident to achieve the mission of protecting the country, and request the continuous support and encouragement from all citizens.