Taiwan on Tuesday announced reinstating mandatory one-year military service for conscripts.
“The more we are prepared, the less likely will we see an attack from across the strait,” President Tsai Ing-wen told a news conference in Taipei.
Home to around 24 million people, Taiwan sits across Taiwan Strait, south of mainland China which considers the island nation as its “breakaway province” while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949.
“The more we are united, Taiwan will be stronger and safer,” she added, announcing an extension from the current four months to one year in the military service of the conscripts.
Calling the decision "difficult," she said the new order will be effective from Jan. 1, 2024.
The 66-year-old Taiwanese politician said defending national security and ensuring the national interests of the island nation was her "unavoidable responsibility as president."
Tsai said her government will increase the monthly salary of conscripts to around $700 to “make sure they earn enough to cover their basic daily expenses.”
Male conscripts born on and after Jan. 1, 2005, will have to attend military service.
Since it formed the government in 1949, Taiwan had all its men aged 18 and above undergo two to three years in the military. However, the conscription service was reduced to one year in 2008. Later, former President Ma Ying-jeou reduced the conscription period further to four months starting in 2013.