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Legislators concerned Taiwan's reservists not ready for war

60% of Taiwan's military reserve force not trained in 8 years

Taiwanese soilders (Ministry of National Defense)

Taiwanese soilders (Ministry of National Defense)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defense Committee is scheduled to review the 2020 budget for the Ministry of National Defense, but members of the committee are concerned about Taiwanese soldiers' ability to protect the country in a time of war.

The legislative body's Budget Center pointed out on Tuesday (Oct. 15) that of the approximately 2.3 million reserve soldiers in Taiwan, 60 percent (450,000) have not received any formal training in the eight years since they were discharged. Although Taiwan has a relatively high number of soldiers in reserve, they might not be combat ready, reported UDN.

According to a Budget Center report, there were 770,000 people eligible for refresher training (軍事教召) as of August, but only 300,000 had been called back. Many discharged reservists have already lost their combat skills and could not realistically contribute to the national defense, reported Liberty Times.

Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) argued that the four months of military training compulsory for healthy Taiwanese men is too short and should be lengthened. According to ETtoday, U.S. officials have also urged Taiwan to improve its defense capabilities.