Pundits and Internet users have lambasted the Ministry of National Defense’s “surrender foods” purportedly designed to convince invading Chinese soldiers to lay down their weapons.
The packages contain instant noodles, chocolate, candy, biscuits, egg rolls and bottled mineral water.
Officers from the Psychological Warfare Operations Group on Sunday presented the package along with videos and posters at a news conference at the ministry’s headquarters in Taipei.
“We designed the packaging to emphasize the cherished values of freedom and democracy, which can neutralize China’s military threats and their propaganda campaign against Taiwan,” Colonel Wang Yi-hung (王宜弘) said.
The sentences “Lay down your weapons,” “Put your hands up,” “Surrender to the Republic of China Army,” and “We can guarantee your safety” are printed on the packages in simplified Chinese characters.
The sentences “You can enjoy this snack. Safety and freedom is right in front of you,” is printed on the packaging of a chocolate bar.
“We can use these surrender foods, together with multimedia tools, such as video, posters and booklets, to influence the hearts and minds of the enemy and achieve the successful goals of psychological warfare,” Wang said.
However, pundits and Internet users ridiculed the packages, with many joking about them on public discussion forums, while others said it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“These items are quite cute, even I want to buy them to give away as gifts. I think tourists will love these products. They should be mass-produced, because these will sell very well,” social commentator Lucifer Chu (朱學恒) wrote yesterday.
Users of the Professional Technology Temple criticized the ministry for wasting taxpayers’ money.
“This psychological warfare unit should be disbanded immediately,” one said.
“It’s an April fool’s joke, right?” a user asked, while another said: “This shows that our military budget is being used for frivolous things.”
However, some Internet users supported the effort.
“In wartime, maybe these are effective, you never know,” one wrote, while another said: “This will work when we get the PLA [Chinese People’s Liberation Army] troops holed up in a siege and they get hungry.”
The packages were also criticized in China.
“How can they believe PLA soldiers will surrender when they see these food items? They have no idea of the quality of our military food provisions,” a Chinese Internet user wrote.
“This might work, because PLA soldiers might die from laughing too hard,” another added.
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