Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) said yesterday that career soldiers would completely replace conscripts by the end of 2014.
Chen told the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee that the process would begin in 2011, while 10 percent of career soldiers would fill up the vacancies left by those who have completed compulsory military service.
All vacancies will be completely filled by the end of 2014 by following the plan.
Chen said more details of the schedule would be proposed to the legislature for review in June.
Individuals wishing to join the military would need high school education at minimum, Chen said.
In addition, people scheduled for their one-year compulsory military service would only have to go through a four-month military boot camp, he said.
Meanwhile, a Defense Ministry official said yesterday that Taiwan was working on creating a think tank to coordinate contacts with the Chinese military.
The official’s comments followed last week’s assertion by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) that Beijing was ready to hold talks with Taiwan on political and military issues aimed at ending hostility between the two sides.
The official said the purpose of the new liaison organization would be to build mutual trust with the Chinese military “on a step by step basis.”
He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
“We want to establish a think tank to reduce the unsafe factors in relations between the sides,” he said, without elaborating.
Meanwhile, Kyodo News Agency reported yesterday that the defense ministry had earmarked an initial US$230 million to buy 60 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the US amid fresh indications the US Congress will likely approve the deal.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AP
While the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is being touted as a treatment for COVID-19 in many parts of the world, Taiwanese experts on Monday warned against regular use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment, citing a lack of solid evidence. “Following an experts’ meeting, we do not recommend regular use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 due to the lack of enough evidence,” said Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) expert advisory panel. A report in the American Journal of Therapeutics said that meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients had found large,
‘LOW PROBABILITY’: China still ‘has a ways to go to develop the actual, no-kidding capability’ to seize Taiwan militarily, US General Mark Milley said The US’ top general on Thursday downplayed concern that China would attempt a military takeover of Taiwan in the near term, saying Beijing does not have the capability to do so. While there has been rising concern in Taiwan and among US lawmakers about Chinese military activity near Taiwan, such as flying jets in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), US military officials said that such moves are not overly concerning. US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told lawmakers that while Taiwan was still a core national interest of China, “there’s little intent right now, or motivation,
The Canadian House of Commons on Thursday unanimously passed the first reading of a proposal to create a legal framework for efforts to strengthen relations with Taiwan. The Canada-Taiwan Relations Framework Act was introduced by Canadian Member of Parliament Michael Cooper, who said that not having a formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan has complicated interactions between the two nations. Taiwan is one of Canada’s largest trading partners, and the two share strong people-to-people links and common values, he said. Taiwan “is a vibrant economy and one of the world’s top 20 economies. It is time Canada’s relations with Taiwan reflect
A Kaohsiung woman who thought that she was dating Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves was found not guilty of abetting fraud, the Kaohsiung District Court has ruled. Citing insufficient evidence to prove intent, the court on May 27 dismissed fraud and money-laundering charges against the woman, surnamed Chang (張), saying that the evidence suggested that she had been duped. The verdict can be appealed. The verdict said that police opened an investigation into Chang after her bank account was linked to an online catfishing scheme, which involves luring someone into a relationship by using a fictional online persona. The scheme claimed two victims, including a