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Australia: Taiwan to extend compulsory military service from four months to one year in the face of tensions with China

Taiwan investigates TikTok for suspected illegal operations

  Taiwan investigates TikTok for suspected illegal operations TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's government has opened a probe into Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok on suspicion of illegally operating a subsidiary on the island, though the company's owner denied the accusation. TikTok, which is not widely used in Taiwan, has come under pressure mostly in the United States on concerns about China getting access to users' personal data, which the company denies. In a statement late on Sunday, Taiwan's China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council said that on Dec. 9 a working group under the Cabinet had discovered that TikTok was suspected of "illegal commercial operations" in Taiwan.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing Wen announced Tuesday the extension of the period of compulsory military service from four months to one year in the face of growing tensions with China, while detailing that the decision will take effect on January 1, 2024 to improve the island's combat capability in the face of possible attacks by Beijing.

Tsai, who has also promised to increase the salaries of conscripts, has held during the day a series of meetings with high-ranking officials to address security and economic issues on the island, according to the Taiwanese news agency CNA. "China is threatening peace and stability and its threat to Taiwan is obvious," he has denounced.

China stages 'strike drills' around Taiwan, citing provocation

  China stages 'strike drills' around Taiwan, citing provocation BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) -China's military said it had conducted "strike drills" in the sea and airspace around Taiwan on Sunday in response to what it said was provocation from the democratically-governed island and the United States. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, said the drills showed Beijing was destroying regional peace and trying to cow Taiwan's people. China staged warTaiwan, which China claims as its own territory, said the drills showed Beijing was destroying regional peace and trying to cow Taiwan's people.

"The decision is very difficult," he acknowledged, while stressing that the authorities remain "determined to protect the homeland." "Nobody wants a war. Only being prepared for war can prevent it. As long as Taiwan is strong enough, it will not become a battlefield," he said.

Hours earlier, Taiwan's Foreign Minister John Wu had stressed that the increase in Chinese naval operations in the area "is precisely why Taiwan has to strengthen its defense capabilities." "Only preparedness can deter aggressors from an invasion attempt. Surrender is not an option for us - never!" he said via his official Twitter account.

For its part, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry registered 71 Chinese Army military aircraft and seven warships around Taiwan's coasts during the early hours of Dec. 26. In response, it sent military aircraft, navy ships and land-based missile systems to monitor these activities.

Relations between China and Taiwan were suspended in 1949 after the forces of the Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang Party, led by Chiang Kai Shek, suffered a defeat in the civil war against the Communist Party of China and moved to the island of Taiwan. The Asian giant considers Taiwan as its rebel province, despite the fact that the island has declared its independence and is supported by the United States and the European Union.

Source: (EUROPA PRESS)

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© Chiang Ying-ying / AP Recruits of military service train with bayonets at the military center in the county of Hinchu, north of Taiwan, the April 22, 2013. (Illustration image) Taiwan, a democratic archipelago claimed by Communist China, announced yesterday the lengthening of the duration of its military service. Initially four months, he will go to one year in 2023.

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