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IPFS News Link • Military

How Long Is Compulsory Military Service?

• by Tyler Durden

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced early last week that conscription will include more intense training so that the country is better equipped should China invade. Conscripts will also receive a higher monthly stipend, increasing from NT$6,500 (US$211) to NT$26,307 (US$856), which is roughly akin to minimum wage. In a poll conducted by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation in December, 73 percent of respondents supported the move.

Fewer than 30 countries worldwide still require whole age cohorts to complete military service. But, as Statista's Anna Fleck details below, among those that do, four months is a relatively short period of time. Taiwan had originally stipulated two years of service, however this was gradually cut down to four months as of 2013, with the intention of relying more heavily on volunteer forces instead.

As Statista's chart shows, North Korea stands at the other end of the spectrum in terms of duration, although media reports vary. The Guardian reported 10 years for men and 7 for women as of 2015, while the Indian Express puts the figures closer to 8 years for men and 5 for women. According to media reports, those in the elite class are usually able to avoid conscription.