China: May 19, 2000


Taiwan has announced a program under which 5,000 slots are available for alternative non-military service. This year's 100,000 draftees can opt for the positions, although it is assumed that many more than 5,000 will apply for the slots. The alternative jobs will be in firefighting, social services, medical services, and environmental protection. Those who have professional qualifications for such positions will have priority, and a lottery will be held for any remaining slots. Those who get the non-military service jobs must serve for 26 months instead of the 22 served by those who enter the military. The Taiwanese military is having trouble retaining personnel. The Air Force is short 35% of the required number of fighter pilots.--Stephen V Cole


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