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Ministry of National Defense considers demotions for serious military violations

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday said it is considering demoting senior military officials once they are found to have seriously violated military regulations in the future.

The MND's proposal is aimed to screen out unqualified and misbehaving military personnel in order to put the budget to better use, military spokesman Luo Shou-he said yesterday.

The ministry is still gathering information regarding worldwide practices on military demotions, he said, adding that the proposal is still under draft and has not yet been finalized.

Luo made the comment in response to a local media report yesterday in which said the MND has already made the military demotion proposal.

The latest proposal, once realized, could cover senior military officials including high-ranking generals, a Chinese-language China Times report said.

The report quoted sources as saying that the existing punishment system of the military has failed to prevent military personnel from breaking regulations.

Many military officers have been involved in sexual harassment cases or other serious violations of military codes could still receive their retirement pensions until their sentences are handed down by the courts.

The new proposal that would punish violators by stripping his or her rank may do better job. Once a two-star general is stripped off a star, it could cost him or her tens of thousands of New Taiwan dollars of retirement pay, it said.

The MND's initiative to demote violators' ranks, thereby decreasing their retirement pay, will force the military personnel to think twice before committing crimes, sources told the China Times.

The initiative was also made amid public concern that the pension fund for military retirees is on the verge of bankruptcy, it said.

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