Amendment urged to help men studying in China

Staff Writer, with CNA

Thu, May 12, 2011 - Page 3

Former independent lawmaker Li Ao (李敖) yesterday appealed for a revision to the Military Service Act (兵役法) so that his son, who is studying in China, can return for a family get-together without being conscripted.

Li, accompanied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝), said his son, Li Kan (李戡), a freshman majoring in economics at Peking University, could not get a deferment were he to set foot in Taiwan, meaning Li would have to meet his son overseas.

“Why is it that students studying in China cannot get a deferment, while students studying in Japan, the US and other countries can?” Li said.

Taiwanese men are obligated to serve in the military when they reach the age of 18. They can ask for a deferment to pursue advanced studies, but not if they are studying in China.

Chu said the military service system “should not be discriminatory,” calling for a revision of the clauses on deferments under the Military Service Act.

The amendment should allow students studying in China to receive the same treatment as those studying in other countries and enable them to return home while enrolled in a school abroad, she said.

Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said a number of legislators raised the issue last year and that both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of National Defense believe the law should be amended.