How the conflict in Ukraine has forced Taiwan to improve its crisis readiness
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Taiwan has increased reserve training and is promoting the importance of civil defence. New initiatives, according to experts, can better prepare Taiwanese for upcoming disasters. People in Taiwan are beginning to sense the need of being ready for any scenario as the conflict in Ukraine approaches its seventh month and as military pressure from Beijing intensifies.
Authorities and civil society groups in Taiwan have recently started a number of reforms and island-wide training programmed aimed at improving the battle preparedness and crisis management skills of the Taiwanese population.
Forward Alliance, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works to increase Taiwan's national resilience, is one of the groups in the forefront of this initiative.
The NGO has been providing civil defense workshops since March, instructing participants in how to provide first aid, treat trauma, perform search and rescue operations, and identify shelters in an emergency
Training in resilience
Enoch Wu, the organization's founder, stated that "we are educating citizens on how to respond to crises." The trainings aid in preparing residents for man-made or natural catastrophes. It is about how to maintain communities.
Originally set to begin in August, the training classes were moved to March as part of Forward Alliance's response to the increasing demand from the Taiwanese people as a result of the Ukraine war, which heightened a sense of urgency throughout Taiwan.
The key is preparation.
On August 27, the alliance held a training session in Taichung, Taiwan's second-largest city, for which numerous individuals registered.
A nearby community centre was full with retirees, stay-at-home moms, young professionals, and students learning the fundamentals of first aid. The majority of participants claimed that the conflict in Ukraine and Taiwan's delicate political situation motivated them to attend the course.
Cherri Lee, a 40-year-old education specialist, stated: "The war in Ukraine convinced me to enroll in the training."
"The people of Taiwan have long enjoyed peace, but I don't believe it is a reason for us to become complacent about the growing threats posed by China."