Sat, Sep 25, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Conscription time may be shortened, defense chief says

CNA , TAIPEI

Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) confirmed yesterday that the ministry is studying the feasibility of shortening the mandatory service period in two stages from the current 20 months to 10 months.

Lee was responding to a question from People First Party Legislator Chin Hui-chu (秦慧珠) on whether media reports about a plan to halve the conscription period by 2009 are true.

Lee said the ministry was studying the feasibility of shortening the conscription period in tandem with the gradual implementation of an all-volunteer system. In the first stage, Lee said, the mandatory service period would be cut to one-and-a-half years and then shortened to 10 months in the second stage.

He said the ministry is still working on technical details for implementing the project.

"We are still making an overall review. Shortening the conscription period is a policy direction. The plan could also be implemented before 2009," he said.

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