Taiwanese Celebrity Joseph Cheng Doing Military Service

Actor Joseph Cheng serving compulsory military service in Taiwan.

Actor Joseph Cheng serving compulsory military service in Taiwan.

From Apple Daily:

Joseph Cheng Investigates Smugglers, Lock and Loaded and Ready to Protect

Actor Joseph Cheng is currently doing his military service [compulsory for all men in Taiwan] in the Coast Guard’s second regiment. At one o’clock this morning at Badouzih Harbour, a fishing boat was investigated and 600 boxes of tobacco seized with a street value of 8,000,000 TWD [$273,000 USD]. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, was locked and loaded, and was quite eye-catching.

When facing questions from reporters, he wore a serious expression, held his rifle with both hands and replied quietly, “Sorry, I’m currently on duty, I can’t answer your questions.”

Actor Joseph Cheng serving compulsory military service in Taiwan.

Comments on Facebook:


National hero

Rico Pan:

He’s on duty, the reporters shouldn’t be bothering him.


He is just doing his military service like an “ordinary person”…

Huang Mamie:

“When facing questions from reporters, he wore a serious expression, held his rifle with both hands and replied quietly, ‘Sorry, I’m currently on duty, I can’t answer your questions.'” Normally, I don’t really have much of an impression of this entertainer, but this sentence makes me really really admire him!!!


There is only one word to describe this!! Handsome!

Jasmine Tu:

News reporters really have no class. He already said he’s on duty, and still they keep pestering him with questions.

Richard Lin:

I thought it was Andy Lau!

Lang Hsinyi:

I admire this type of actor, jia you! At least he isn’t having someone else substituting for him.


Those willing to serve their country are real men, I commend you!

Sandra Wu:

How can he be doing military service and still be so handsome!

What do you think? How do you feel about the compulsory military service that certain countries require? Have you served in the military before? What did you think of the experience? Was it beneficial to you?

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  • Sofa

    • Little Wolf

      Fuck Yo Couch, Bitch

      • BigJ

        I’m rick James Bitch !!!

    • Little Wolf

      Fuck Yo Couch, Bitch! Darknesses!

  • Nanny Hiccups

    oh nice…


    I bet he will run away when war starts.

  • BigJ

    You guys can’t see what’s going on here? That’s a T-1000 send back from the future to kill John Connor.The T-1000’s highest probability for success now will be to copy Joseph Cheng and to wait for John to make contact with him. :)

    That’s the only logical explanation. :) lol

    Another thing…look at the day and night pictures. He looks exactly the same….. like EXACTLY the same.That mother fucker is a T-1000.

    • Irvin

      He’s an actor, at least he knows how to act the part even if he don’t really know shit about it.

  • Jimmy Jeffries

    Compulsory military service is barbaric.

    • ScottLoar

      Compulsory military service is barbaric? Military service does instill some measure of discipline into young men, tests their mettle and enforces self-restraint, obedience to orders, and promptness which qualities are necessary in a developed society; by throwing together young men of different backgrounds it gives them an appreciation of their countrymen and country through a shared experience; military service challenges young men and often gives them direction by experience of life, i.e. they mature.

      Now, can you reply other than by sarcasm and ridicule as to why compulsory military service is barbaric?

      • Hoppy1

        Well said. Also I think that many men are just overgrown children these days. I’m middle aged and when I look at my father’s and my grandfather’s generations and see a different, totally different breed of blokes. I don’t want to say military service alone shaped them, but it certainly gave them values and self respect.

        • Ruaraidh

          Even the ancient Greeks were writing about how their generation was degraded and useless. People don’t tend to write epic stories or make films about manchildren, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t rampant in the past.

          The people who are here to tell you about the past are generally those who had a better experience of it. The ones who had the most negative experiences all died at the time and aren’t around to talk about how shitty everything was back then.

          New records for physical and mental prowess are being set all the time. How can it be that the current emasculated generation can compete with, and even supersede, the achievements of the superior breed of men who inhabit the past?

          It’s a myth, built from an unrepresentative image of the past. Can military discipline be good for some people? Absolutely, but it depends on the individual. Some people just aren’t suited to it, and compulsory military service would be like throwing them under a bus.

          • Hoppy1

            All excellent and valid points. However I was not referring to physical or mental achievements. I shouldn’t tar all with the same brush but I do feel there was something much more intangible, I guess it’s what we might call ‘character’, that set them apart.
            This ‘myth’ quite possibly, may be as you say, ‘built from an unrepresentative image of the past’ and just a figment of my imagination and I agree with your statement that the military is not for everyone wholeheartedly. I do personally think, at the risk of sounding corny, doing something, anything, for ones community helps to forge that character,
            Self worth and self importance are not the same. You earn self worth, whereas self importance is free for the taking. It may well have been exactly the same in the past, but meeting people with the former, seems to be becoming less common than meeting those with a misguided sense of self importance.

    • Ruaraidh

      I don’t really think it’s barbaric, it is however generally not cost effective. Conscript armies became redundant some time in the last century. Smaller but better trained and motivated professional armies are vastly superior. Using national service conscripts in something non front-line like the coastguard probably isn’t so bad.

      A lot of people are pro military service, and a lot of people are against it, but it’s a bit extreme to call it barbaric. Russian conscripts are treated notoriously brutally, but do you really think it’s the same in Norway and Finland?

      • ScottLoar

        I disagree. A professional military is invariably better trained, better motivated, more effective on the battlefield, and more “cost effective”, but as now testifies the situation in the US the general public is increasingly alienated from the military (most people cannot identify military ranks or even branches of service), even as the military is increasingly used with less and less discrimination; not so with a citizen army. A number of countries have compulsory military service but that of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Switzerland by example, are not known for brutality are they?

        Citizen soldiery, men who have service experience and are obliged and
        prepared for future civic duty in a national emergency, cuts through
        class divisions, keeps politicians in check knowing that everyone’s son – that of their constituents as well as their own – is liable for duty in the field, and makes governing officials keenly responsible for military action; look at how Churchill was voted out of office by returning veterans. During the Cuban missile crisis some advocated a US invasion of Cuba; it was the Marine officer on the general staff who imposed a map of Cuba over the eastern US seaboard, stretching from Maine to Florida, next to a speck on the same overlay called Tarawa, reminding all that the Marines lost almost 3,000 men taking that comparative speck. I think the adventures and decisions indulged in by advisers like Cheney, like Rumsfeld, are largely a consequence of their lack of field experience, a failure to empathize (not sympathize, “empathize”) with the enemy, and a general disconnect with the reality of the situation; how else to explain, for example, Rumsfeld’s notoriously bad decision to demobilize the Iraq professional forces and outlaw Bath’ist party members including the police, in a country where every professional, every official, was by necessity a party member. The result was chaos inviting the few groups maintaining unit discipline and organization – religious extremists who under Saddam Hussein had been driven to the periphery of society – to establish pockets of contending power.

        • andrewfx51

          I’d have left Korea out of the above examples. Not a stellar record when it comes to respect for women.

          • ScottLoar

            In hindsight I cannot but agree, Andrew, and as a Japanese remarked when we were talking, “In Korea there are two races: the man race and the woman race”.

        • Little Wolf

          Not known for their ass-kickery either. The whole Swedish “citizen soldiery” (militia) strategy is based on being able to fend off an attack from “The East” for 2 weeks tops until “The West” comes to their aid. Neutral and hate Yanks until it’s crunch time.

          • hess

            “hate yanks”? you should’ve read the liberal news papers in Sweden instead of the Socialist ones

          • Little Wolf

            Shiiit….I didn’t need to read a newspaper to feel the snooty-ness in the air and this was before it was trendy and hip to hate yanks. Except Raggerek, that would drool over American cars my grandmother would be embarrassed to drive. Didn’t really care much anyway. On a continent full of limp-wristed handshakes, Sweden had the creepiest.

          • hess

            “snooty-ness” why? because people enjoy red wine and dont go around bragging about how macho they are?
            “raggerek” raggare are the trashiest of the white trash in all of sweden

          • Little Wolf

            1: Nope
            2: Yep

          • hess

            its not exactly weird that a country with a population of 9.5 million would use that strategy

        • Ruaraidh

          Armies are for fighting, not effecting domestic politics. Defence efficiency should always trump political expediency.

          If you have a problem with your country’s politics, find a political solution. Do you really think Cheney and Rumsfeld wouldn’t have found a way to get out of military service? Even if they didn’t, sending conscripts out to get ‘field experience’ is just a good way of filling graves. By your reasoning, how come the legacy of the Vietnam war isn’t a super responsible American political elite?

          • ScottLoar

            Slow down.

            Armies are for fighting and should not be deployed except in war, but a professional military as compared to one comprising citizen soldiers is more likely to be deployed exactly because the consequences are far lighter to the citizenry.

            Compulsory service is compulsory and universal save for the mental and physically handicapped. Would Cheney and Rumsfeld (have) found a way to get out of military service? I cannot speak to their characters or to the exclusions afforded by a hypothetical compulsory service. My point was that Cheney and Rumsfeld lacked field experience and so failed to
            empathize with the enemy, were generally disconnected with the reality of the situation, and so their decisions were poor.

            “If you have a problem with your country’s politics, find a political solution”. How can I possibly disagree? Again, my point is a military largely composed of citizen soldiery cannot be lightly deployed. Why do you fail to understand that? And I never advocated field experience (your “filling graves”) as a political end. You seem to willfully misunderstand my argument for compulsory military service begetting a more responsible and experienced citizenry, and creating a force of citizen soldiers that cannot be lightly deployed because the consequences of military action fall on all, not just on the professional few.

          • Ruaraidh

            In countries where they have compulsory military service, avoidance is rife especially amongst politicians. Something like a third of Korean politicians never did their military service. Therefore it’s realistic to expect that the situation would be largely the same in the USA.

            I understand that you’re saying that armies wouldn’t be used so much, because the costs of fighting would be worse. But if the military really needs to be deployed then the costs of doing so would be horrendous. Why can’t you just elect responsible politicians who won’t send a professional army in unnecessarily, and still have a more effective force when it is really needed.

            You stated that the bad decisions made by Cheney and Rumsfeld were due to a lack of field experience, which could be assuaged by military service. Therefore you’re implying that conscripts should get field experience during military service.

            I know your motives are good, I just think there are much better ways of reducing the likelihood of military deployments. The fact is ‘consequences of military action’ is a euphemism for dead bodies. Professional soldiers know what they are signing up for and deem the risk acceptable, national service conscripts do not have a choice.

          • ScottLoar

            No, you thoroughly fail to understand. It is not, “I understand that you’re saying that armies wouldn’t be used so much, because the costs of fighting would be worse.” Unlike you I am not measuring a military arm by how cost effective it is. It is not dollars and cents by which I measure compulsory national serivce. I have said any number of ways, that a small, professional military arm would more likely be deployed by politicians exactly because the consequences of that deployment fall on a much smaller segment of the general population, just as we now experience in the US. If a military action necessarily involved some, more random mass of the civilian citizenry then the consequences affecting a larger segment of the population would give politicians pause before they elected to deploy troops. More than pause, it would positively inhibit politicians from blithely considering military action.

          • Ruaraidh

            When I’m saying the cost of war, I don’t mean financial expense, I mean the national cost of dead and wounded.

            You’re basically saying that the army should be deliberately structured in such a way that is should take more casualties in the event of being called to action. You hold this view because of your unsubstantiated belief that this will disincentivise politicians from using the military. The fact that the ‘random mass of civilian citizenry’ has no choice in the matter doesn’t seem to bother your autism riddled mind. Neither does the fact that the use of military force is sometimes well justified, or even unavoidable.

          • ScottLoar

            “Autism riddled mind”: Insult acknowledged, now back to the argument.

            No, I do not say nor imply (nor can a reasonable mind infer) an army should be structured to take more casualties; that is absurd and immoral. Any fighting force large or small need be equipped, trained, supported and deployed with clear objective. I do understand that combat is killing and being killed, a lesson lost on most politicians now in office of a generation without military experience and irresponsible to their greater constituency who look to a small military force of professionals (and mercenaries like the euphemistic “security agencies” ) to do dirty work, and the bulk of the populace no less than politicians tolerate military expeditions that do not greatly impinge on their lives. Not so when military action is understood for what it is, killing and being killed, and with that cold lesson in mind – and a compulsory military service which means that in war all young men are liable for combat duty – politicians and the populace will not so greatly accept military action.

            “(T)he use of military force is sometimes well justified, or even unavoidable.” Of course, and you are foolish to assume I think or have written otherwise, But you fail to appreciate military action is an extreme, most likely because you have no experience of the military or combat, and military action outside your own country has had little or no effect on the lives of anyone around you. Not so if the nation had compulsory national service and every eligible man well understood the consequences of the nation’s decision to war. Again, combat is killing and being killed, it is not a video game, it is not the vicarious thrill of a Hollywood action film or a newstube.

          • ScottLoar

            Winston Churchill, who was in the cavalry charge at Omdurman, said after seeing his country through two World Wars, “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” William Tecumseh Sherman, the American Civil War general who believed and practiced that the arrogant South would surrender only after experiencing total war, said, “it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated… that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation.”

            I speak only to my own country: It is this common sense experience of war that US leaders and the general population now lack, insulated as they are by a professional military and the exercise of “security agencies”, and further made indifferent by knowing all this really has no effect on their personal life – no son will bear arms, no head of household has served.

          • Ruaraidh

            I’m sorry for the insult, I was having a shitty day, I took some of it out on you, and it was totally uncalled for.

            The thing is conscripts are less effective than professional soldiers. If you send 100 professionals and 100 conscripts to do the same job, more conscripts will come back dead. Therefore moving to a national service based military would be restructuring for greater casualties.

            You also want to make the population at large liable for the cost of war, in other words spread the death and maiming over the whole population rather than a professional few. I really struggle to grasp how indifferent you are to the fact that there is no consent at all in that. The people who have to die have no choice about participating, because it would be mandatory rather than voluntary.

            I assumed you thought all war was unnecessary because your idea totally breaks down in a scenario where war is unavoidable. As previously explained you’d have a military force that is less combat effective and structured to take more casualties, and the side benefit that it is less likely to be used is totally negated.

            Now you’re the one putting thoughts in my head, I don’t think war is a computer game, or that it’s not extreme. However I do think that there are much much more elegant and efficient ways of putting checks on military use. Seriously, you would rather overhaul the whole military to an outdated model, that other countries in the world are moving away from, rather than just elect less callous or bloodthirsty politicians?

          • ScottLoar

            I repeat, “any fighting force large or small need be equipped, trained, supported and deployed with clear objective.” I am not sending 100 conscripts to do the job nor would a modern commander accept such ; I am sending 100 eligible male citizens who have been equipped, trained, supported and deployed with clear objective” as has been the case in most wars; look to the example of the marine and air arms during WWII. Moreover, these men have a variety of experiences, different backgrounds, and that is the fibre of a good military as well as of a good democracy. You insist that citizen soldiers are cannon fodder; I submit that large modern armies (and even the phalanxes and legions of Greece and Rome) since Cromwell have been composed of citizen soldiers. “Less combat effective and structured to take more casualties”; no, that’s your own unsubstantiated thought.

            And because the men have experience of national service (will you not grant that almost all of that body and time is spent at peace?) if war does come they are better prepared for intensive training and faster deployment, but most importantly in a democracy there would be a sober reflection of exactly what military action entails, and the decision could not be made lightly. You insist national service (and I’ve recounted the benefits) is the same as death without consent. I submit a nation experienced in universal national service comprises people who will not ignorantly tolerate military adventures but do reluctantly understand combat is necessary only under the most extreme situations.

            It is not callous or bloodthirsty politicians in the US who are making war. Obama and Bush bloodthirsty? The elder Bush bloodthirsty or callous when he was once the youngest naval aviator, experienced in air combat, and was shot down as well? Cut the hyperbole. Modern war – by the proxy of professional, elite forces, “security agencies”, missile-firing drones and other remotely-controlled weaponry – now allows men of good intentions but no military experience to deploy unrestrained firepower. This is wrong. These good men (and women) of high intentions have finally distanced themselves and their nation from the responsibility and consequences of combat, and they do not understand the beast they’ve created. And the general population is indifferent to it all because they have no experience, feel no consequence, just enough guilt to demonstrate with an occasional whine.

            But all of this means nothing to you. Your complaint is “consent”, that universal national service does not allow individual consent, and that is what riles you.

          • Ruaraidh

            How long do you think people are going to do national service for? Professional soldiers can be in the military for 20 years, building up skills and training. How are you going to produce national service conscripts who can compare to that in less than 18 months?

            The Roman army was the first true professional military, that’s why it was so successful. Cromwell’s New Model Army was a professional army, that’s why it was successful. The early period Janissaries were professional soldiers, which is why the Ottoman Empire was initially so successful.

            In the Falklands war, Argentina had the advantage of numbers, shorter supply lines and defensive positions. Both armies were equipped with the same weapons; the British still won a resounding victory. This was because the British were professional soldiers, whereas there were a high proportion of national service conscripts in the Argentine force. Every time professionals come against conscripted troops they show their superiority.

          • ScottLoar

            You use every argument to avoid national service despite the benefits I’ve recounted, but now reduced to posing it as a rabble of conscripts sent against professional soldiery.Throughout you have dramatized national service as a death sentence as
            conscripts having no choice are sent packed against professional
            soldiery. History tells us differently.

            Numbers tell. Numbers are needed to seize and hold ground; this is why infantry exists. Nations, governments conscript because they have no choice in war. In warfare of the 19th and 20th centuries massy armies were needed, and those armies that were best trained, equipped, supported, deployed and led in numbers throughout the years win. In warfare the professional standing force you so admire is soon felled by superior numbers on the field, or incorporated as cadre to train and lead the forces. What belligerent nation in WWI or WWII depended on a professional army throughout?

            Look to what is happening right now in the Middle East: professional forces ground down by attrition by warring against their own countrymen, and their number cannot be replaced. The rebels, armed militias, know theirs is necessarily a war of attrition won by numbers.

        • Kate

          I dunno about the other countries, but my husband served in the Korean military and he has told me some horror abuse stories that went on. He was routinely beaten by higher ranking superiors. It wasnt just him, abuse happens all the time in Korea’s military. He said it was awful and at one point contemplated suicide. Ive talked to other koreans with similar stories.

        • shaniqua1990

          korea is notorious for people suicide during their military services…

    • Tony

      I think pointing 1,500 missiles at Taiwan just because they don’t want to part of China is barbaric. Threatening destruction of the island if it follows it’s own path is barbaric.

      • shaniqua1990

        Taiwan is already part of the Republic of China.

  • The Acidic Hasidic

    This is really an incredibly boring article

    • Canadian_Skies

      It’s an incredibly staged article. Think of the timing, location, and visuals.
      You’ve got BOATS AND WATER, you’ve got MILITARY, you’ve got CELEBRITY.

  • MidniteOwl

    and next week, the mainland will send its own representative… lol.

  • Rod

    I dislike this new system of voting up/down comments. Crowd mentality sucks.

    • BigJ

      What’s the problem?

      • Rod

        Shit like “This is a boring article” gets 25 thumbs up, while intelligent discussion get as many thumbs down or more than thumbs up. Even stuff like your comment about terminator is funny (though it doesn’t contribute to intelligent discussion), but it’s currently 6/8 (more dislikes). Thumbs up/down isn’t making the comment section any better than it was. But I guess the oversensitive commenters are happy because they can make their disapproval known.

    • Irvin

      We are social animals, unless one choose to live in a forest alone one just have to deal with the crowd.

      • BigJ

        What’s upsetting you so much?

    • Irvin

      I mean, at least we get rid of the sofas with this system.

  • Irvin

    Why does the local call him “national hero” when it’s compulsory? He’s only there because he doesn’t want to break the law and only because he have to. If he choose to be there on his own accord then its understandable.

    • BigJ

      For real man, This guy I bet is pissed he has to do that. You can pay your way out of it too, I sure he just said “fuck it” and just did it. I’m actually more interested in the tobacco smuggling. :)

      • Irvin

        Indeed, I reckon $273,000 USD worth of cigarettes is a shit load of smokes. lol

    • ScottLoar

      A “national hero”? Hardly, but I can understand such hyperbole and adulation: John Wayne was given a Congressional Gold Medal and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for posing as a tough guy, despite the fact that although eligible he never served in the armed forces during WWII unlike many other Hollywood actors. Makes B-17 bomber crews over Germany look rather inconsequential, yeah?

    • anon

      I think it is because the Taiwanese netizens expect people like him (celebrities, the wealthy) to be fully capable of dodging it in some way, but he chose not to. So in a way, he’s there on his own accord.

  • Gay_Chevara

    You watch, he’ll finish his national service then he will never be the same as the man he was before.

    That’s what happened to Elvis.

    • Irvin

      That’s different, Elvis dropped the soap. Asians use body wash.

      • Gay_Chevara

        That’s true, I forgot that Elvis was one of those Brokeback Mountain hillbillies.

  • Slob

    Isn’t it illegal for them to photograph military personnel?

  • donscarletti

    The People’s Armed Police paramilitary dudes outside Tiananmen look like they are fed properly, have another 4 inches on him and most of them are more handsome too (I’m not homosexual, but it’s hard to not notice).

    I think this is probably quite a disappointment for the ladies.

  • Beijinger in Beijing

    Why is this newsworthy?

    • BigJ

      It’s not…..well the story about the cigarettes is….but what they are reporting on and what they think is important is not.

    • anon

      The basic assumption with chinaSMACK is that whatever they post got enough attention from enough netizens somewhere. These Taiwan articles are supposed to be about things that are popular in Taiwan then, which only has a population of 23.2 million people. If they start covering Hong Kong based on what’s popular with Hong Kong netizens, you’re going to see a lot more articles like this.

      I’m more interested in the mainland but I know a lot of people (usually Taiwanese or expats in Taiwan) have also asked about chinaSMACK covering Taiwan.

      • fabulous

        Should it not therefore be mandarinSMACK?
        Or is this website trying to make a political point?

        • Will

          Well, the official name of Taiwan and it’s surrounding island is the Republic of China…

  • Nanny Hiccups

    I would be interested in comments on this if it appeared on sina or weibo. especially if the comments were as ignorant as the american ones:

    • linette lin

      wow…this is too much. They need to get that girl away from the bus driver. He is operating the bus and girl is bothering him. Not safe.

      • Bunny Hiccups

        yeah but did you see the way he punched the crap out of her like he was on mortal combat. he then picked her up and literally tossed her out the door like a bag of garbage. turns out she was 25 years old and totally obnoxious. i still don’t think she deserved to be beaten like that. the man lost his job.

  • fgfgfgfg

    lol chinese people are midgets compared to us westeners

  • Kate

    I was hoping for a cuter man in uniform….a bit disappointed for a guy thats suppose to be a model…..he is so thin and short…..surely better looking asian men in uniform…

  • themig

    taiwan attack japanese coast guard ships now!!!!!!

  • gu kailai

    Armalite rifle and 600 cartons of Shuang Xi’s. Now that’s double happiness.

  • hehehehh

    coincidence at it’s best..

  • wacky

    i think instilling a military culture for the whole population is more important and should be started from early age.
    with a military culture we expect a large majority of the population would voluntarily join the military without this kind of conscription.

    • wacky

      and this is something i think china or taiwan are lacking behind

  • anon1

    Why is Taiwanese news on CHINAsmack? Taiwan is not China. I come here to see China news and China netizen reactions to said news. Do not confuse Taiwanese happens with what goes on in China.

    • Shaniqua1990

      Because Taiwan is part of the Republic of China. Further Chinasmack is about articles that are popular in the People’s Republic. This article concerning Joseph Cheng also happens to be popular within people of the People’s Republic.

  • alien

    any sb can carry a gun.

  • You’d think in a country of 1.33 billion – of which 900-some million are piss-poor poverty stricken conscription candidates – you wouldn’t need compulsory military service.

    Wonder what ‘war’ the Chinese are spoiling for…

  • Sadie

    I don’t really care if he does military service on a compulsory basis, but it sounds cute and he look very responsible, also his aura is like Jiang Zhi Shu, which reminds me of having ISWAK 3… Please Joe Cheng make another one, I am a big fan of ARJOE. I can’t help but watching the series all over again… please, I’m begging you… make another ISWAK….