Sunday, June 23, 2024

Taiwan wary as China steps up pressure ahead of inauguration | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

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Taiwan is set to inaugurate the Democratic Progressive Party’s Lai Ching-te as its new president on Monday.
Beijing views Lai as a separatist, and has been stepping up its military pressure. Taiwan has been making preparations for possible emergencies. It has set up shelters for its residents in the event of an attack.

Lai is expected to maintain outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen’s policy of keeping a distance from China.

Since the start of this month, Chinese ships have frequently entered waters which Taiwan effectively controls. It bars Chinese vessels from sailing into them without permission. Experts say such moves are aimed at increasing pressure on Taiwan’s new administration.

Taiwan’s emergency preparations include annual air-raid evacuation drills simulating Chinese attacks.

Signs along streets direct people to shelters, set up in places such as schools and underground parking lots.

More than 83,000 locations across Taiwan can accommodate about 54 million people — more than twice Taiwan’s entire population.

But prolonged tensions with China have led to public complacency about such contingencies.

But not all shelters are ready for evacuees. Some are not properly ventilated or regularly cleaned. Many are in privately-owned buildings, so they may not be immediately available in an emergency.

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