It’s easy to see why countries like Taiwan have military invasion on the mind. Now, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense has released its first handy 28-page guidebook in case another country (not saying who) decides to invade the territory it has long-claimed as its own.
Inside a new Chinese-language survival handbook are QR codes linking to several websites and apps for both Android and iOS that can be helpful should Chinese troops start to march through Taiwan. The codes include links to the sites that notify people about power outages, the weather, military announcements and available emergency medical services. Apps include the ministry of the interior police service, which also incorporates protocols for evacuation during an air raid.
The strangely cutesy art style clashes against graphics of a destroyed landscape and armed soldiers moving amongst the smoke and rubble. The particularly well-produced document also details how to react to different alarms and air raid sirens, how to safely enter an evacuation facility, how to contact the different emergency services, what supplies to include in emergency medical and evacuation kits, and information about being called up into the army reserve.
Reuters reported that Liu Tai-yi, of the ministry’s All-Out-Defense Mobilization Unit, said during an online news conference that the document is “providing information on how citizens should react in a military crisis and possible disasters to come.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put the entire world into a sense of panic over the potential of escalating conflict. While the rhetorical vagaries are politically wise, especially knowing the existing tensions between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China, the timing is evidence of the country’s ongoing need to keep their neighbor at arm’s-length without provoking them into war.
Taiwan isn’t the first to release guides in case of a military incursion from its neighbor. The Swedish government released a similar document in 2018 due to rising fears of Russia’s aggressive posturing. Last week, the Polish government unveiled a new 36-page guidebook in the case of an invasion titled Be ready, a guide for times of crisis and war. That guide, which is much more explicitly a condemnation of Russian aggression, also details information about where to seek emergency services, but it also offers information about dealing with disinformation, something Russia has become well-known for.
Taiwanese officials have mentioned that the document could be updated to include more localized information of shelters, hospitals, and other emergency services.