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Taiwan releases defense handbook for citizens amid China invasion fears

Taiwan releases defense handbook for citizens amid China invasion fears
Taiwan's military released a guidebook for citizens Tuesday with information on what to do and where to go in case of emergencies such as a military invasion. File Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE

April 12 (UPI) -- Taiwan's military issued a civil defense handbook on Tuesday with information for citizens on how to respond to emergencies including a military attack as concerns over China remain heightened in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The 28-page handbook features QR codes that can be scanned to find bomb shelter locations and offers safety instructions for air raids, fires, building collapses and major power outages.

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The illustrated guide also includes mobilization information for military reservists in case a war breaks out.

Liu Tai-yi, an official with Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense, told a press briefing Tuesday that the manual would "improve the public's awareness and safety preparations when faced with military or other possible crises and disasters."

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Taiwan's military has been working on the handbook since last year, but Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February brought a renewed focus on the danger posed by China, which views the self-governing island as a breakaway province.

The crisis in Ukraine has also given an added sense of urgency to ongoing military reforms, such as an enhanced training scheme for reservists introduced late last year.

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The Taiwanese defense manual was based on similar guides from Japan and Sweden, Liu said, and would continue to be updated with localized information from city and municipal governments.

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Washington has signaled its support for Taipei since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the Biden administration sending a delegation of former defense officials to Taiwan in March and the State Department approving a $95 million arms sale last week.

Reports last week of a potential visit to Taipei by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew an angry reaction from Beijing, which warned of "strong measures" in response.

The Congressional delegation's trip to Asia was postponed, however, after Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

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