Resolution postpones push for Taiwanese military downsize

Resolution postpones push for Taiwanese military downsize

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Lawmakers yesterday passed a resolution to suspend a new wave of military downsizing set to be launched this July that will further cut the size of the R.O.C. Armed Forces to fewer than 200,000.

The Legislature's National Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday passed the resolution to suspend the scheduled launch of the planned downsizing project, named Yong Ku.

The resolution stipulates that the Ministry of National Defence (MND) should not launch the programme until the committee has reached a consensus with the MND on whether to launch it following a briefing.

The resolution signed by three ruling Kuomintang lawmakers states that the Yong Ku, scheduled to kick off this July as part of the military's plan to further cut the country's military personnel to below 200,000 by the end of 2019, has already caused serious problem among troops.

The MND has launched a series of downsizing programs over the past decade that have already cut the number of military personnel to 215,000 from the original 400,000.

The continuing downsize has forced many middle-aged military personnel to discharge from the military prematurely. Military cadets were also uncertain of their prospects in the military as the number of senior officers has also been cut, said the resolution.

The MND concluded a wave of streamlining last November. A new wave of streamlining should not be launched so soon or a lack of military personnel could affect the nation's defence readiness, it noted.

The resolution was passed during an interpellation session of the committee yesterday when newly appointed Defence Minister Kao Kuang-chi made his first appearance at the committee to brief on the MND's project in 2015.

Kao was promoted and became the nation's new defence minister in January after President Ma Ying-jeou accepted his predecessor Yen Ming's resignation.

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