Civilians Attend Urban Warfare in Taiwan, July 2022. (PHOTO: Yahoo News)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – The source of Ukraine’s resilience has inspired a number of Taiwanese civilians to attend urban warfare workshop, according to sources, in what they call is a preparation to defend their country from a possible Chinese invasion.

China views the island as part of its territory and has pledged to take it one day, forcing the self-governed democracy live under constant threat from the People’s Republic.

A 47-year-old Yeh, whose call sign during the training is “Prof”, works in marketing. He spends the weekend attending an urban warfare workshop to prepare for what he sees as the very real threat of a Chinese invasion.

“The Russia-Ukraine war is a big reason why I came to this workshop,” Yeh tells AFP during a break between sessions, saying it has inspired him to take training session in order to prepare to defend his country if China would tend to invade Taiwan someday.

The resilience of Ukrainian forces has given him hope that with the right tactics, Taiwan too might have a chance defending itself against its much mightier neighbor, as AFP wrote.

“The best defense is offence,” Yeh emphasizes. “To put it bluntly, annihilate the enemy and stop any enemy advances.”

Ruth Lam, 34, works at an emergency vehicle lights manufacturer. She is learning to fire a handgun for the first time, saying most of her European clients had told her there would not be a war in Ukraine; “but it happened.”

She is hoping that knowing how to handle a gun might protect her and her family if there is war, and is planning to continue target practice with friends.

“Prepare your umbrella before it rains,” she says, as Yahoo News quoted. “We don’t know when things are going to happen.”

Meanwhile, the organizers of urban combat course exclaims they have witnessed a drastic increase in number of enrollees since February, saying their students have nearly quadrupled. Firearms and first aid courses have also seen increased enrolment.

Max Chiang, CEO of the company that organizes the workshops, says there has been “a heightened sense of crisis” among Taiwanese people since 2020, when Chinese warplanes began making regular incursions into the island’s air identification zone.

Roughly 380 sorties were recorded that year — a number that more than doubled in 2021, and is on track to do so again this year, according to an AFP database.

China comprehensively outnumbers Taiwan militarily, with over one million ground force personnel to Taiwan’s 88,000, 6,300 tanks compared with 800, and 1,600 fighter jets to 400, according to the US Department of Defense.

In a survey conducted in May, 61.4 percent of respondents said they were willing to take up arms in the event of an invasion.

“The will of the Ukrainian people to fight against aggressors has increased the resolve of Taiwanese to safeguard their homeland,” Chen Kuan-ting, CEO of Taiwan think-tank NextGen Foundation, tells AFP.

With persistent pressure from China against Taiwan, a number of locals believe it is a question of when, not if, they will be called to put their new skills into action.

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