Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Kaohsiung military school turns down Chinese-born boy

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A 15-year-old is protesting Chung Cheng Armed Force Preparatory School’s rejection of his application, saying he was rejected because he was born in China.

Chang Ching-hsiang (張景翔), 15, whose father is a veteran, said he has always wanted to join the army. He applied to the school after finishing junior high in Kaohsiung. His score on the high school entrance exam met the school’s requirements.

Chang said his father had not registered his household data in Taiwan until he was three years old, adding that the school had disqualified him because of his birthplace.

“I was devastated. I am Taiwanese, yet I was turned down by the school because I was born in China,” Chang said.

Recruitment regulations effectively bar prospective students from China by requiring them to have been registered as residing in Taiwan for at least two decades, even though the school only recruits students who are between the ages of 14 and 18.

Chang said the regulations were outdated and urged the government to amend them.

When reached for comment, school commandant Shia Yu-zen (夏玉人) said he had suggested this before, but the Ministry of National Defense rejected the idea, saying the rule was necessary to prevent the nation’s military schools from being infiltrated by the Chinese Communist Party.

“We are sorry to be unable to recruit such a good student, but this is against the regulations. Military personnel must follow the law,” said Chen Bi-jen (陳必仁), head of the school’s political warfare division.

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