Taiwan recruiting more men in military as Chinese Soldiers planning an action

Taipei, Taiwan – Preparing for potential Chinese military action has been a looming prospect for Taiwan since its government fled to the island at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. 

There has been three close encounters between the 1950s and the 1990s, and now there may be cause for concern again as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) completes an ambitious modernization campaign military.

A recently released white paper, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said the PLA had developed the ability to blockade Taiwan’s major airports and harbours, while the Pentagon said they would have the capacity to “compel Taiwan’s leadership to the negotiation table” as early as 2027.

Since taking office in 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen has focused on improving the armed forces’ capabilities and gone on an extensive weapons buying campaign from the United States as her government’s relationship with Beijing has darkened. In August, the administration of US President Joe Biden approved its first sale of $750m in weapons to Taiwan, after predecessor Donald Trump approved $5.1bn in sales in 2020.

The bed Taiwanese defence ministry is now asking for an extra $9bn over the next five years to improve Taiwan’s defences. The money would be in addition to its existing, and growing budget.

As Taiwan’s horizon darkens, it needs to reckon with another big question of whether the general public will be ready.

Most male citizens are required to complete national service which, in theory, should prepare them to complete the professional army, now limited to around 188,000, according to budget data, and amounting to 215,000 s and in the equation. 

Limits were placed on the military for budgetary and political reasons – most democracies do not maintain large standing armies – and so reserves would play a vital role in moving bombed tracks, repairing vehicles and simply digging ditches. 

In the event of an attack, about a million of these reservists, those who have served nationally for eight years, could be called up for the first round of mobilization.

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