Pool champion with PRC citizenship to serve at air base

By Joseph Yeh,The China Post

Former pool champion Wu Chia-Ching (吳珈慶), who became the first Taiwanese conscript with Chinese citizenship when he returned to Taiwan for military service last month, will serve in an Air Force base in the southern county of Pingtung following a lot drawing, ministry authorities said yesterday.

The 22-year-old Wu completed a monthlong boot camp in central Taichung City yesterday, military sources told the Central News Agency. A lot-drawing that held the same day to determine where Wu will spend the rest of his one-year compulsory service period decided that he will be assigned to the 439th Tactical Fighter Wing in Pingtung Airbase, military sources said. But because of his People’s Republic of China citizenship, the military sources said Wu will be restricted from access to sensitive military information during his service at the base.

He will also be barred from getting near to military aircraft, the sources said.

A former Taiwanese pool player, Wu started competing under the PRC flag last year after obtaining Chinese citizenship. He previously said the decision was made as a “career move” so that he could compete in pool at the international level.

Wu was dubbed a prodigy in Taiwan after winning the World 9-Ball Championship in 2005 at the age of 17. He was previously banned from representing Taiwan in international competitions after he tried to obtain Singaporean citizenship in 2008.

He later obtained the PRC citizenship in 2011. Since he did not renounce his Taiwan citizenship, however, and as a Taiwanese male, he is obliged to serve in the military or face a jail term for violating the Military Service Act once he returns to his hometown.

The pool player chose to return to Taiwan and reported to a military boot camp on April 11, the deadline for him to report for military service in accordance with the law.