Taiwan military to be downsized and all-volunteer

ROC military

Elaine Hou reports for the Republic of China on Taiwan’s Central News Agency (via GlobalSecurity.org) that on Jan. 20, 2014, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Yen Ming said Taiwan is planning to cut the country’s military personnel to below 200,000 by the end of 2019, as it moves forward with its efforts to streamline the military.

During a dinner with local reporters to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year, Yen said according to a draft plan, the military will undergo a new downsizing from 2015 to 2019: ‘We plan to cut the number of troops to between 170,000 and 190,000 from the 215,000 target for the end of 2014.”

The downsizing is part of the military’s effort to adjust the organization of Taiwan’s defense apparatus and restructure the armed forces, taking into consideration such factors as the future type of combat operations, government finances and the weapons in the military’s arsenal. The deployment of high-tech weapons systems allows the military to cut its personnel. All in order to help achieve Taiwan’s goal of building a military force that, as Yen put it, is “small but elite, small but skillful, and small but strong.”

At the same time, Yen reiterated the government’s determination to shift to an all-volunteer force, citing measures aimed at giving young people more incentives to pursue a military career. For example, since Jan. 1, the government has raised monthly allowances for volunteer soldiers and non-commissioned officers to between NT$2,000 (US$66.60) and NT$4,000 (US$133.20) per month.

The transition to an all-volunteer force originally was planned to be completed by 2015, but the date is now pushed to 2017 due to lower-than-expected recruitment numbers.

The military will need to recruit more than 10,000 servicemen annually in 2015 and 2016, but that number will fall to around 7,000 beginning in 2017.


8 responses to “Taiwan military to be downsized and all-volunteer

  1. Richard M Nixon (Deceased)

    Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.


  2. A. James Gregor, Ph.D. & Professor

    It is difficult for foreigners to assess the decisions of the Taiwanese defense establishment: they are dealing not only with existential challenges, but with many unknowns. What seems evident is that the force structure that is calculated to defend Taiwan in the next few years offers little that might deter a committed military power.

    Taipei has a number of imponderables that must necessarily influence its deliberations: (a) will the People’s Republic of China continue to command its present economic and financial power over the next few years? or will it succumb to major economic and political dislocations”? (b) Will the United States put together a serious strategy for the defense of the West Pacific region? (c) Will such a U.S. strategy envision an alliance between the major military regional powers and the United States? Since Taiwan is not “recognized” by those powers, it is unlikely that Taipei will be invited to join should such an alliance become a reality. Taiwan may simply choose to (d) leave its fate to other regional powers (India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and ASEAN), assuming that the PRC will not move against such a potential combination of military power. For the time being, it would seem that Taipei’s strategy is the best — the least provocative of Beijing — of few options.


  3. Thank you StMA for this interesting post. I also thank Dr. Gregor for posing the necessary questions with regard to the current changes in Taiwan’s military.


  4. I’m not at all keen on the idea of China attaining its dream of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Part Deux, but…. The people and government of Taiwan (and Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, etc.) need to understand the American people has pretty much had its fill of fighting overseas for *any* reason.Defense against Chinese aggression is not going to be a matter of Taiwan and America meeting each other “half-way.” The Asian Pacific nations need to realize this is much more a matter of you guys proving you’re serious, and then we will help from behind. For example, in a Taiwan invasion scenario, I can see us supplying airpower and some seapower (mainly carriers, their escorts, and submarines), but it’s going to have to be the Taiwanese Army and Marines that do the ground fighting (and most of the dying, sad but true) on the beaches and inland on Taiwan. If Taiwan can’t stomach the cost to remain pseudo-independent, then I’m not interested in seeing any Americans dying for nothing.


  5. Pingback: Gobierno Demanda a Google Eliminar Esta Foto De La Isla Misteriosa – Curiosidad Total

  6. Pingback: Government Demands Google Delete This Photo Of Mysterious Island - Rallnews.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s