“I think China will invade Taiwan between 2025 and 2027,” says Wu Jheng Cong, a Taiwanese sofa-maker living in Taoyuan City. “These rations of food can last our entire family twenty days to a month.”
He has stocked up on food, taken up weapons training and has weekly gatherings with his civil defence group, where they develop their survival skills.
Local media in Taiwan reports that around half a million people have voluntarily enlisted in civil defence training. Wu is one of them. “When the war comes, things are going to get tough,” he tells us. His fear is that the Taiwanese military and reserve forces may not be large enough to withstand a military invasion by China, prompting him and his peers to organise and train for war. “You have to start years before it actually comes,” Wu says.
While many Taiwanese believe China’s rhetoric around ‘reunification’ remains a distant threat, tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated dramatically in recent years. Wu believes that fostering a close connection with his training companions will be what protects him, his wife and his three-year-old son in case of emergency. “Being in a group like this, I’m reminded of my purpose. When the war comes, there’s someone to fight for.”
Filmed by: Joseph Mangat and Wang Chun Hong
Produced by: Tierney Bonini and Antonia Perello
Field Producer: Allen Chen
Edited by: Joseph Mangat and Antonia Perello
Sound recording: Ken Wu
Sound Mixing: Linus Bergman
Colourist: Catherine Hallinan
Senior Editor: Donald Cameron