By Shelley Shan / Staff Reporter
The Ministry of National Defense should extend compulsory military service to one year and recruit more women to bolster Taiwan’s defense, the New Power Party (NPP) caucus said yesterday.
The party made the remarks in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) speech at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Sunday, when he said China would never renounce the use of force. to “reunify” Taiwan.
“The harassment and threats from the Chinese military, as evidenced by the unprecedented military exercises around Taiwan in August, only unites Taiwanese and strengthens our resolve to defend ourselves,” the NPP caucus whip said. , Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智).
Photo: Liu Hsin-te, Taipei Times
Lawmakers from all parties agree that Taiwan’s national defense capabilities should be strengthened, he added.
Apart from building warships and increasing the defense budget, the ministry should carry out comprehensive military reform by eliminating unnecessary training, providing quality equipment to military personnel and using artificial intelligence systems to gather intelligence and wage information warfare against China, Chiu said.
“The Ministry of National Defense should finalize a policy to extend compulsory military service as soon as possible and ensure that more women serve in different military-related roles. It would strengthen Taiwan’s defense capabilities,” he said.
NPP chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said Xi “just played the same old tune” in her speech by mixing Chinese nationalism sentiments with anti-democratic rhetoric.
“Xi’s reiteration of peaceful reunification with Taiwan, the ‘one country, two systems’ framework, and not renouncing the use of force have shown that he is a nationalist and authoritarian, who would persecute the Taiwanese the same way he persecuted Hong Kongers and Uyghurs,” Chen said.
“Freedom, democracy and human rights are unshakable principles and explain the fundamental differences between Taiwan and China. Interactions between two countries can only take place under democratic and equal conditions,” she said.
Regarding the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) sending a telegram to congratulate the CPC on its national congress, Chen said political parties in Taiwan should form a united front when dealing with China.
“Despite competitive elections and divisive politics, all political parties in Taiwan should support freedom and democracy,” Chen said.
Citing a Reuters report, NPP lawmaker Claire Wang (王婉諭) said Xi used the word “security” 89 times in his speech, far exceeding his other addresses in the past.
“For Xi, maintaining the stability of the CCP-led government is far more important than maintaining the universal values of human rights and freedom,” Wang said.
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