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Taiwan To Allow Women Into Reservist Training As Chinese Threat Grows

Taiwan's military announced on Tuesday that they will permit women to participate in reserve force training for the first time, as China increases pressure.

by News Desk
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Taiwan’s military announced on Tuesday that they will permit women to participate in reserve force training for the first time, as China increases military pressure on the island. The Defense Ministry stated that 220 female soldiers who have been discharged will be able to enroll in the training program, starting in the second quarter of the year.

According to a report from CNN news, the program will be implemented on a trial basis for this year, and it will be led by Major General Yu Wen-cheng from the Ministry’s All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency.

The Taiwan Defense Ministry previously stated that it only trained male reservists because of a lack of capability to train both sexes. This exclusion of women from reserve training was considered as gender discrimination by Taiwanese lawmakers. In December, Taiwan announced that it will be extending the period of mandatory military conscription for all eligible men to one year starting from 2024.

As of now it is just 4 months and there was a fear in Taiwan that 4 months was inadequate. This new requirement will apply to men born after 2005.

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Taiwan’s military

Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), has a long and complex history with its military. The military of Taiwan traces its history to the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Republic of China, which was established in 1924 by the Kuomintang (KMT) government, as it fought for control of China against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

After the KMT’s defeat in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, it retreated to Taiwan and re-established the government of the Republic of China there.The military of Taiwan is composed of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard Administration. Taiwan’s military has a total active personnel of around 170,000, with an additional 120,000 reservists, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The military is mostly made up of volunteers, but males aged 18 to 36 are also required to carry out a period of mandatory service in the reserves. After discharge, men are required to participate in training recalls four times over eight years. As of 2021, women constituted 15 percent of Taiwan’s military, primarily serving in non-combat roles.

Taiwan’s military is supported by the United States, which has sold the island advanced weapons systems and provided training to its military personnel. The island’s military is outmatched by China’s military in terms of size and firepower.

China has repeatedly threatened to use military force to retake Taiwan if it declares formal independence, and has been increasing its military pressure on the island in recent years. The threat of China is nudging Taiwan to reconsider several existing norms.

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