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Taiwan's new civil defense handbook adds tips on spotting Chinese soldiers

Pamphlet includes info on emergency kits, air raid sirens, bomb shelters, and how to take cover

Illustration shows main uniforms worn by People's Liberation Army soldiers. (Ministry of National Defense civil defense handbook screenshot)

Illustration shows main uniforms worn by People's Liberation Army soldiers. (Ministry of National Defense civil defense handbook screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Tuesday (June 13) released its latest civil defense handbook which includes information on distinguishing Taiwanese from Chinese soldiers, the locations of air raid shelters, and combat first aid, among many other aspects.

After feedback that last year's manual did not include enough practical information, the new handbook has increased in length from 28 pages to 48 pages. The first half of the manual consists of "peacetime preparation," while the second half is dedicated to "wartime responses."

Among the peacetime preparations are directions on creating an emergency evacuation kit and distinguishing between an air raid siren and the all-clear siren. There is also a link to the National Police Agency's app that shows the location of Taiwan's 89,405 air raid shelters (for mobile phones only).

Included among the wartime responses are illustrations that detail the differences in terms of camouflage patterns, patches, and insignias of Taiwanese Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine troops, who are depicted as smiling, versus those of their People's Liberation Army (PLA) counterparts, who are shown to be frowning. The PLA uniforms include the "summer training uniform" (jungle), "winter training uniform" (desert), "FROG (Flame Resistant Organizational Gear) uniform" (jungle), and "combat training coat" (desert).

There are also illustrations of the uniforms worn by Taiwan's police, firefighters, disaster relief personnel search, and rescue personnel. This is followed by instructions on how to take shelter when an air raid takes place, including taking a crouching position on the ground with chest about 15 cm off the ground, covering eyes and ears with one's hands while leaving the mouth open to equalize pressure during a bomb blast.

In response to criticism that there are still too many QR codes in the manual, which could be useless if cell towers are down, Shen Wei-chih (沈威志), the head of the Ministry of National Defense, said at a press conference that day that this is the easiest and fastest way to transmit information and that it is meant for the public to access in advance of any disasters. Regarding an English version of the manual, Shen said that the MND is working on an English translation.

The peacetime preparations include the four main topics:

  1. Emergency evacuation preparation checklist
  2. Air defense alarm signals and sound recognition
  3. Familiarizing oneself with key nearby facilities
  4. Staying informed with accurate information

The wartime responses include the following nine items:

  1. Possible warfare scenarios
  2. Identification of friend or foe
  3. Emergency evacuation
  4. Battlefield survival tactics
  5. Communication disruption remedies
  6. Combat first aid
  7. Battlefield crisis management
  8. Public response measures for crises
  9. Emergency response line

The full defense ministry civil defense handbook. (CNA display)