Taiwan to send military delegation to Israel to study reserve forces

Despite no formal recognition between the two countries, billions of dollars in deals have been signed.

Taiwanese Army representatives attend a baseball game with face masks adorned with the Taiwanese flag, May 7, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/ANN WANG)
Taiwanese Army representatives attend a baseball game with face masks adorned with the Taiwanese flag, May 7, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/ANN WANG)
Taiwan will send a military delegation to Israel to learn about its reserve mobilization systems, as the Asian country moves to improve its military preparedness.
The weeklong visit by military and think tank representatives between July and September 2021 will focus on learning about the IDF’s organization, mobilization, deployment and wages for reservists, Taiwan’s Liberty Times reported.
As tensions rise with Beijing, with Chinese aircraft and warships repeatedly threatening Taiwan’s airspace and territorial waters, the self-governing democracy’s government announced it would increase the country’s defense budget by 10% and reform the country’s military and reserve forces.
Taiwan does not draft women into the military; men are required to complete only four months of service and then join the reserves.
The training of the reserve forces, meanwhile, was found to be “inadequate for maintaining the readiness of those reserve units that would see combat,” a 2017 report by the RAND Corporation found.
Following her reelection in January, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has said she would reform the country’s military and reserve forces. The country’s Defense Ministry has also suggested making changes to the mobilization units and the frequency of recalling and training reservists, a force that would be key to defending the island nation.
According to Taiwan News, Taipei has been sending reserve force delegations to various countries such as Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US since 2015 to study their mobilization mechanisms.
The ministry has also stressed the need to procure more equipment for the country’s reserve forces.
Last year, Taiwan announced plans to up its defense budget over the next decade and is expected to surpass $13 billion in defense spending by 2027. The country also plans to develop indigenous training jets, submarines and other weapons systems to boost its military capabilities.
With an increased focus on the military, Taiwan will also send delegations to Germany and Belgium next year for an eight-day “international security cooperation and research” tour, Taiwan News reported.
During the visit, the delegation will meet with German and Belgian defense departments, attend seminars and meet with officials to “explore opportunities for potential collaboration,” the report said.
While Israel and Taiwan do not officially recognize each other, the two have signed billions of dollars in deals in recent years.