TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Those completing their compulsory military service in Taiwan’s army will “of course” have to go to the battlefield in the event of war, former defense minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said on Wednesday (Nov. 8).
Feng’s comments come after Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said that conscripts will not be sent into battle in the event of war, amid discussion of extending the country’s compulsory service to one year. Feng, who is now veteran affairs minister, said the constitution states that citizens are obliged to perform military service in the event of a conflict, per CNA.
When asked about Lai’s statement, Feng declined to comment. However, when asked if conscripts would have to serve on the battlefield, after first brushing off the question, he said of course they would have to.
Currently, men born after 1994 are required to undergo four months of compulsory military service after they turn 18. Starting 2025, those born after 2005 will have to serve for one year.