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Taiwan extends compulsory military service to 1 year amid China threat

Taipei: Taiwan on Tuesday announced the extension of compulsory military service to one year from the current four months from January 1, 2024, amid the Chinese military exercises near the island.

China’s “intimidation and threats against Taiwan are getting more obvious”, President Tsai Ing-wen told a press conference.

“No one wants war… but my fellow countrymen, peace will not fall from the sky.”

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“The current four-month military service is not enough to meet the fast and ever-changing situation,” she added. “We have decided to restore the one-year military service from 2024.”

The decision is expected to affect conscripts born after January 1, 2005.

In addition, President Tsai promised to increase the monthly salary of conscripts from $212 to about $855, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.

On Monday Taiwan’s defense ministry said that the island’s armed forces registered 71 aircraft and seven ships of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) approaching the island in one day.

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Shi Yi, spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command of the PLA, said that the Chinese armed forces had conducted various types of military exercises near Taiwan on Sunday. He stressed that the exercise is China’s “strong response” to the recent escalation of provocative US actions on the Taiwan issue.

(With inputs from agencies)

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