Taiwan’s military issued its first official war survival handbook this week, advising civilians how to prepare for or respond to a Chinese invasion that many fear will be similar to Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine.
Published Tuesday, the 28-page “National Defense Manual” details several survival tactics –including how to find bomb shelters via smartphone apps, locate water and food supplies, prepare emergency first aid kits, distinguish air raid signals and other mobilization information.
The handbook includes scannable QR codes as well as large graphics and images to get the government’s messages across.
“The pamphlet simulates wartime situations and guides the public in various scenarios, so they can learn to adopt the necessary response measures,” Lie Tai-yi, director of the All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency’s materials division, said during an online briefing, according to Bloomberg.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense described the handbook as “a solid ground for our local governments to instruct citizens on what to do when emergencies including disasters and military assaults come.”
The handbook comes as part of Taiwan’s recent efforts to boost its resilience against national security threats – particularly as China increases its military and diplomatic pressure in the region.
China has long considered democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory.
In recent weeks, Beijing blasted the US for “provocative” action after a Navy warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait, which the Navy called “routine.”
China has repeatedly flown dozens of military planes into Taiwan’s airspaces in a show of force in recent months. In October, Beijing authorized nearly 150 flights over Taiwan’s air defense zone.
While the US has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Washington is Taipei’s most important international backer and arms supplier.
Tuesday’s handbook has drawn inspiration from similar guides created by Sweden and Japan and is expected to be further updated with local information about hospitals, shelters and shops, Reuters reported.
While Taiwan has not formally warned of an invasion, China’s ambassador to the US warned in January that there could be potential “military conflict” between the two countries over the island.
“If the Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the United States, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely will involve China and the United States, the two big countries, in a military conflict,” Ambassador Qin Gang said during an interview with NPR.
Just last month, China continued its military build-up in the region, equipping at least three islands it has built-in a disputed area of the South China Sea with anti-aircraft missile systems, fighter jets and laser and jamming equipment.
Adm. John C. Aquilino, head of US Indo-Pacific Command, called it part of “the largest military buildup since World War II.”
“They have advanced all their capabilities and that buildup of weaponization is destabilizing to the region,” he told the Associated Press.
Concerns about a potential invasion of Taiwan come as Ukraine faces its seventh week of attacks from Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade their western neighbor on Feb. 24, triggering fierce fighting that has killed thousands of Ukrainians and displaced millions more.
With Post wires