TAICHUNG, Taiwan, The China Post Staff
Taipei City Council member Chang Chung-tien affirmed yesterday that he plans to fulfill his military obligations and has no intention of dodging military service. Chang, a member of the New Party, made the announcement at a press conference after he receiving a notice from the city’s Department of Military Service. All able-bodied men are required to complete mandatory military service of one year and 10 months before the age of 40 unless they are the only son in the family with aged parents. Chang, who had spent a long time in the United States, relinquished his American citizenship after he was elected a councilor two years ago. He subsequently applied for two deferrals for military service because of his busy work schedule at the council and serving his constituents. Chang, the only son in his single-parent family, will celebrate his 40th birthday September next year while his mother will reach 70 years of age. With a good command of English language, Chang already passed a government-sponsored test to qualify him to take up the “alternative” military service at educational institutions, contrary to serving in combat units like the majority of military draftees. Please see MILITARY on page
Chang said he will seek leave to make time to attend crucial meetings and cast his vote at the council without compromising his duty as an elected representative of the people. A senior city government official said that there will be no problems for Chang’s legitimate membership at the council as long as he completes registration for at least one council session during the next 22 months. Under the currently regulations, the memberships of elected officials can be nullified after they are convicted of criminal activities.