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3/16/2009-- Taiwan plans to cut its troop numbers by about a fifth to create a lean and mean fighting force, the defence ministry said yesterday (March 16) in a landmark report reflecting President Ma Ying-jeou's thinking on cross-strait ties and defence.

By 2014, Taiwan will roll out a 215,000-strong professional army, down from the current level of 250,000 to 275,000, said the ministry in its first-ever Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR) yesterday.

The emergence of an all-professional army will mean the end of formal military conscription for Taiwanese males. 

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