TAIPEI—Taiwan will extend mandatory military service for male citizens, a one-time political taboo that morphed into an imperative in the face of growing Chinese aggression and intensifying competition between Washington and Beijing.
Conscription will increase from the current four months to a full year starting in 2024, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said at a press conference in Taipei on Tuesday.
“This was an extremely difficult decision,” Ms. Tsai said. “Peace depends on national defense, and national defense depends on the whole population.”
The Taiwanese leader said that conscript pay, currently the equivalent of $212 a month, would be increased to close to minimum wage, which is set to rise to $856 a month in 2024. Training would also be intensified and expanded to involve instruction on the use of Javelin antitank missiles and drones, she said.
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