I must say the eccentricity of some of our lawmakers was pretty admirable. To cope with the military’s low recruiting rate of volunteers, some suggested that President Ma copy Louis Philippe, the French king who initiated the idea of establishing a foreign legion to fight for France in 1831, to start building one ourselves. Due to the difference of time and current political situation across Taiwan Strait that we are facing, we should first consider recruiting our legionnaires from overseas Chinese.
Some said that we could recruit the offspring of the “lone army”, the defeated KMT troops pulling off to China-Burma-Thailand border in late 1940s and fighting guerrilla war with the communist forces for two decades until they were too old and too tired to go on.
Albeit they were all former KMT’s regular army, they and their descendants have never been accepted by the KMT government in Taiwan, which has been declining to issue Republic of China passports to them.
The lawmaker who made the suggestion said that we could learn from the French to recruit these young stateless overseas Chinese and issue them formal citizenship when they complete their service for a certain period of time.
The Ministry of Defense has already said no to this idea claiming that their loyalty is something that no one can guarantee.
I have been opposed to maintaining a large military force like what we have now. What we should focus our mind is how to make peace with fellow Chinese on the other side of the Strait, not where to get more men to serve in our armed forces.