Chinese invasion fears grow as Taiwan civilians make preparations

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Taiwanese civilians have started preparing for the possibility of a Chinese invasion. Beijing has long laid claim to the island as part of its territory with which it insists it will “reunify”. Taiwan, itself a self-ruled island off the coast of eastern China, rejects the claim.

In anticipation of an invasion, its residents have been attending first-aid courses and learning how to deal with gaping wounds.

Around 60 people meet once a week in the hall of the Chi-Nan Presbyterian Church in central Taipei where models of human torsos are worked on to teach such things as bandaging and the application of tourniquets, according to reports.

The Times notes that “in the Taiwanese capital, training courses such as this are the hottest tickets in town”.

This workshop focusses on “trauma response and bleed control”.

Wang Juyin, a teacher, told the Times that such training is necessary given an invasion appears certain.

After visiting the first-aid course, they said: “We know it will happen eventually but we carry on with our normal lives…

“The possibility [of an invasion] is increasing. It’s likely in my lifetime.

“If it does happen here, I want to play a part. This evening made me realise I can.”

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The question of an invasion has come to the fore following the visit to the island by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Officials, including in the US, warned that this would be seen in Beijing as an act of provocation.

Since this time, China has been carrying out military drills close to Taiwan.

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This has included firing missiles into waters near the island in what has been clear threats of full action.

Beijing’s rhetoric over the status of Taiwan also appears to have strengthened.

The softest lines from the Chinese Government, issued this week, insisted that “reunification” with Taiwan would occur, but that this could happen peacefully.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said: “The motherland must be reunified and will inevitably be reunified.”

The US has, since the leading Democrat visited Taiwan, doubled down on its support for the island (or, perhaps, its opposition to China).

President Joe Biden earlier this week, having been asked whether US troops would defend the Island were it to be attacked by China, said: “Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack.”

Beijing’s said it “deplores and firmly opposes” Mr Biden’s pledge.

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