TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese citizens 1.55 meters and 1.56 meters tall will no longer be allowed to escape military conscription, reports said Wednesday (Nov. 25).
The Ministry of National Defense said the revision of the height limits for new recruits was the result of changes in how warfare was conducted, CNA reported.
People taller than 1.96 meters would still be turned down, while eyesight factors and body mass index (BMI) would also play a part in who was accepted or refused.
The minimum BMI stays at 16.5, but the maximum limit allowed by the military would rise from the current 31.5 to 35 under the new rules to be introduced Jan. 22. The BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by his height in meters squared. A range from 18.5 to 24.9 is generally considered healthy.
The military described the alterations as a matter of fairness inspired by a changing strategic environment. Taiwan’s population has been ageing, while the United States has asked the government to make extra efforts to maintain the island’s defense capabilities.