Taiwan’s Military Hug Hug Policy Suspended

I was reading the news and the Taipei Times and China Post had articles about the Taiwanese military’s hug-hug policy. All Taiwanese males must at some point serve in the military. Sure, there are loopholes but most males end up doing their time.

Armory autum-winter 2005 102.JPG

What is the hug-hug policy? Any program where men are forced to hug seems a little queer. Kmt Legislator Shuai Hua Min had this to say:

Taipei Times …KMT Legislator and retired general, Shuai Hua-min (帥化民), poked fun at the policy and said it would create a bunch of sissies.

“What is this all about? This is the military, not Ang Lee’s (李安) Brokeback Mountain” Shuai said.

So what is the hug-hug policy?

China Post … Under the policy, squad leaders are required to hug each new recruit under his command and utter the words “Brother, I will take care of you,” to which the recruit must respond by saying, “Leader, I respect and love you.”

Why did they do it?

China Post… (Defense Minister) Lee (Tien-yu) defended the practice as effective in helping recruits overcome their feelings of fear and unease with their new boot camp environment.

The end result of the policy is here:

China Post …During the interpellation session, Legislator Lin Yu-fang questioned the appropriateness of the practice which, the lawmaker claimed, makes many people feel uncomfortable.

To make his point,the lawmaker asked that the minister demonstrate the “loving hug” by embracing a general who accompanied him to the interpellation session. The minister refused.

Keeping the pressure on him, Legislator Lee Ching-hua offered to give the minister a hug, to which the minister responded by saying that “we are not that close.” He then agreed to scrap the policy altogether.

What the heck were they thinking? And more importantly, what is next? A welcome reach around?

About the Author

I am a cultural geographer by nature, and now a photographer, videographer, musician, and webmaster.

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