Tue, May 23, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Lawmaker pushes expansion

A member of the legislature's Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs committee yesterday suggested expanding the dispatching of military service recruits overseas. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said the program could be expanded from the nation's allies to non-allied nations to boost Taiwan's international profile and develop pragmatic relationships with nations friendly to Taiwan. She was speaking after Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Huang (黃瀧元) delivered a report on the alternative to standard compulsory military service, which has been in place since November 2001. Since then, the number of recruits on alternative service in state-funded technical missions and medical treatment groups has increased annually, Huang said. The program has also helped the government train talent in the diplomatic field, he added.

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