Taiwan's armed forces hold two days of routine drills to show combat readiness ahead of Lunar New Year holidays at a military base in Kaohsiung


  • Taiwan included Chinese attack simulations in its emergency drills for the first time
  • Taiwan's capital Taipei and other key cities are conducting drills until June
  • A former Taiwanese legislator highlighted the need to train civilians in wartime

For the first time, the self-governed island of Taiwan has simulated Chinese attacks in its emergency drills.

Taiwan has revised its emergency drills amid the war in Ukraine and the looming Chinese full-scale assault on the island.

"Since the war in Ukraine we have seen the international and regional situation change, so we have to make related preparations," Taipei mayor Chiang Wan-an said, The Guardian reported.

"We want peace, and everyone has to realize the importance of peace during this drill, but we are not backing down from a fight and are making all necessary preparations," Wan-an added.

In the island's capital of Taipei, the drill included a scenario where a Chinese missile struck an apartment block, injuring civilians and causing widespread damage.

Taiwanese rescue teams and paramedics rushed to cordon off the affected area, while rookie firefighters dressed as injured civilians were rescued from the rooftop of a fake demolished building and half-crushed buses.

The Red Cross, volunteer defense groups, reservists, and nursing students participated in the drill.

Other major Taiwanese cities are also conducting weekly emergency drills, which will continue until next month.

However, experts said there are still gaps in Taiwan's preparations for a possible Chinese invasion.

"Taipei and New Taipei are home to nearly 30% of Taiwan's population, but local governments have been slow to prioritize civilian crisis preparedness with a sense of urgency that reflects the threats we face," according to Enoch Wu, a former Taiwanese legislator and founder of Forward Alliance.

Wu underscored the importance of training civilians to "help their own communities in times of need," as Taiwan has only 15,000 firefighters and paramedics.

TH Schee, a member of the non-profit Open Knowledge Taiwan, is concerned that young people willing to defend the island from a potential Chinese attack are not interested in training with experienced groups, such as Red Cross Taiwan and other neighborhood networks of mostly older volunteers.

Instead, Taiwan's city-dwellers join uncoordinated community groups offering firearms training and first aid courses.

Liu Kuei-yo, the sub-division chief of Taipei's fire department, said they are not "completely ready" for a possible war at the moment.

"But we'll get there," Kuei-yo said.

Speculations of a possible Chinese attack against Taiwan have intensified following a U.S. intelligence revealing that President Xi Jinping had already instructed the country's People's Liberation Army to prepare to invade the island by 2027.

China has also recently conducted a large-scale military exercise, including scenarios simulating sealing off the island and attacking key Taiwanese targets.

A PLA Navy tugboat sails past tourists on Pingtan island, China's nearest point to Taiwan, on Friday