Tue, Nov 22, 2016 - Page 8 News List

Resistance through civil defense

By Chien Hsi-chieh

Faced with unarmed civilians, authorizing a massacre would be foolhardy and doing so would placed China under extreme moral pressure and make it the target of international condemnation, while at the same time voices within China would start to question the necessity of using military force due to fears that it could cause internal instability within China.

Without a legitimate mandate to use military force against unarmed Taiwanese civilians, Beijing would realize that governing Taiwan would be impossible. Taiwanese would be able to win over the sympathy and support of the international community so that China’s occupying forces would eventually be forced to retreat and Taiwan would be able to restore its democratic freedoms.

The threat of a nonviolent civil defense would be sufficient to deter China from acting rashly. With the nation’s leaders receiving the full support of Taiwanese, the nation would be on a more even footing with China and could argue for Beijing to respect the wishes of Taiwanese and stand up for its democratic values.

Taiwan’s civil defense is tasked with supporting the nation’s conventional military defense and it has not been assigned an independent defensive role. The government should amend the Civilian Defense Act (民防法) as soon as possible and add a special non-military defense clause to allow for the establishment of a research center for the study of strategic and tactical non-military civil defense.

The government should establish a department to take charge of civil defense, and produce teaching materials and provide training for civic groups and organizations. It should also actively develop the nation’s non-military defense capabilities to supplement conventional defense forces and safeguard the security of Taiwan.

Chien Hsi-chieh is executive director of the Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan.

Translated by Edward Jones

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