Länderberichte und aktuelle Informationen: Taiwan

Last revision: 19 Mai 1998
19 Mai 1998

1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription has existed since the achievement of independence.

The legal basis of conscription is a text published in China in 1933, plus subsequent modifications. [1]

military service

All men between the ages of 18 and 45 are liable for military service. [1]

Military service lasts for two years. [1]

There are reserve duties. [4]

Military training for both men and women is available at both college and university, but it is not known whether it is compulsory. [3]

postponement and exemption

Exemption is possible for medical reasons and in the case of people sentenced to more than seven years' imprisonment for a criminal offence. [2]


Call-up for military service usually takes place at the age of 18.

Recruitment is run by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior. The number of liable conscripts is believed to exceed the number needed. [1]

Legal minimum enlistment age is not known. There have, however, been reports of children as young as 15 being recruited into the armed forces. [5]

2 Conscientious objection

The right to conscientious objection is not legally recognised and there are no provisions for substitute service. [2]

There are no known cases of people announcing that they are conscientious objectors, although one source believes that probably certain Buddhists or Christians have done so. [2]

3 Draft evasion and desertion


Not responding to call-up notice is punishable by six months' to five years' imprisonment, after which performing military service is still required. [2]


Monitoring of draft evasion seems to be quite strict. Liable conscripts who still have to perform military service are allowed to leave the country only with special permission, which may be granted to enable studying abroad. [2]

6 Annual statistics

The armed forces comprise 376,000 troops, which is about 1.74 percent of the population. [4]

Every year about 190,000 men reach conscription age. [4]


[1] Société I3c 1991. Military Powers Encyclopedia, Volume 6, Paris. [2] Taiwan Association for Human Rights 1997. Response to CONCODOC enquiry, 2 December 1997. [3] 'First female students undergo military training', Central News Agency, Taipeh, 27 January 1997. [4] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military balance 1997/98. ISS, London. [5] 'Military service from 15', in: Children of War, 2/1996. Rädda Barnen, Stockholm.