Taiwan issues wartime survival handbook

AFP

3 min read
A helicopter carries a Taiwan flag during national day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 10, 2021.
SAM YEH / AFPA helicopter carries a Taiwan flag during national day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 10, 2021.

'The guide is for the public to better prepare themselves before a war or disaster happens'

Taiwan's military published a handbook on Tuesday advising civilians on how to prepare for a potential Chinese invasion, including where to find bomb shelters and how to stockpile emergency supplies.

China's Communist Party has never controlled self-ruled Taiwan, but it nonetheless views the island as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize it by force if necessary.

Those threats have turned more bellicose under Xi Jinping, China's most authoritarian leader in a generation.

Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine also heightened fears that China might one day follow through on threats to annex its smaller neighbor.

The 28-page guide contains information that "the general public can use as an emergency response guideline in a military crisis or natural disaster," defense ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang said during an online press conference.

It is the first time Taiwan's military published such a handbook.

Drawn from similar guides by Sweden and Japan, it tells residents where to find bomb shelters via mobile phone apps and what to do in an emergency, including distinguishing air raid sirens.

"The guide is for the public to better prepare themselves before a war or disaster happens," Liu Tai-yi, an official of the ministry’s All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency, said.

Video poster

It includes information on basic survival skills for the public during air raids, massive fires, building collapses, power outages and natural disasters.

"We hope the public can familiarize themselves where the safety shelters are beforehand," he added.

Beijing's increased saber-rattling has spurred diplomatic support for Taipei and visits from Western nations shaken by China's more muscular tone.

Taiwan remains massively outgunned by China, but the mountainous island would be a formidable challenge for any military to conquer.

Taiwan last year stepped up its training regime for reservists and increased purchases of military equipment such as jets and anti-ship missiles.

The island is also considering extending its compulsory military service to 12 months. Currently, all eligible males have to undergo a four-month basic military training.

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