Taiwan’s president has announced that compulsory military service will increase from four months to one year.

Taiwan will extend compulsory military service from its current four months to one year starting from 2024, President Tsai Ing-wen announced on Tuesday

as the self-ruled island comes under increasing Chinese military pressure. Speaking after a national security meeting she had called to discuss reinforcing the island’s civil defence

“As long as Taiwan is strong enough, it will be the home of democracy and freedom all over the world, and it will not become a battlefield,” Tsai told a news conference announcing the decision

The current military system, including training reservists, is inefficient and insufficient to cope with China’s rising military threat, especially if it launched a rapid attack on the island

China’s “intimidation and threats against Taiwan are getting more obvious”, Tsai said. “No one wants war … but my fellow countrymen, peace will not fall from the sky.

Conscripts will undergo more intense training, including shooting exercises, combat instruction used by American forces, and operating more powerful weapons

Taipei, which rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, reported the largest-ever Chinese air force incursion into the island’s air defence identification zone on Monday