Taiwan ready to take on China, extends compulsory military service
Amid growing Chinese threat of aggression, Taiwan has decided to extend mandatory military service for male citizens from four months to one year starting in 2024, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced on Tuesday.
Terming it an “extremely difficult decision,” Tsai Ing-wen emphasised that peace depends on national defence and national defence is dependent on the people of the country. She stated that the conscript pay will be increased to the minimum wage. Tsai Ing-wen announced that training will be intensified and expanded to involve instruction on the use of Javelin antitank missiles and drones.
“Peace depends on national defence, and national defence depends on the whole population,” she added.
Taiwanese Defence Ministry said that six Chinese aircraft and ships were detected around Taiwan. It further stated that Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the situation and tasked the navy vessels, and land-based missiles to respond to these activities of China.
Taiwanese Defence Ministry tweeted, “6 PLA aircraft and 3 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected in our surrounding region by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities.”
On Monday, Taiwan Defence Ministry said that 71 Chinese air force planes and seven ships were spotted around Taiwan with 47 military aircraft detected to have crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait. The incursions, according to Taiwan, were made by aircraft, including 12 J-11, 6 J-10, 18 J-16, six SU-30, CH-4, WZ-7, Y-8 EW, Y-8 ESW and KJ-500.
Taiwan Defence Ministry in a tweet said, “71 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected in our surrounding region by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities.”
In another tweet, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said, “47 of the detected aircraft (J-11*12, SU-30*6, CH-4 UCAV RECCE*1, J-10*6, J-16*18, Y-8 EW*1, Y-8 ASW*1, KJ-500*1, WZ-7 UAV RECCE*1) had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ, flight paths as illustrated.”
Taiwan Defence Ministry’s announcement comes after the Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command on Sunday announced that it carried out joint combat readiness patrol and “strike drills” around Taiwan, according to CNN.
China made the announcement after US President Joe Biden signed a new defence bill into law which included creating a defence modernisation program for Taiwan to deter the Chinese offensive. Notably, the tensions between China and Taiwan after US House of Representative Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory.