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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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International

US making plans to evacuate citizens from Taiwan

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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The United States is making plans to evacuate its citizens from Taiwan. This doesn’t mean the government thinks a Chinese invasion is imminent, but it is more proof the government sees it as a very real possibility.

According to reporting by the Messenger, planning for the potential evacuations started at least six months ago. The Messenger quoted a senior U.S. intelligence official who said planning for a possible evacuation was driven by heightened levels of tension, both in the region and abroad.

China considers the island of Taiwan part of its sovereign territory and said its willing to use military might to force its reunification. While some analysts see that as a diplomatic blustering from Beijing, it can’t be discredited.

China has the world’s largest navy, leads the world in hypersonic weaponry, and makes a regular habit of encircling Taiwan in military drills. The fact is if China does invade, evacuating U.S. citizens from the island will be nearly impossible.

In 2019, there were around 80,000 Americans living in Taiwan. The island’s geography will play a huge factor in any evacuation plan. Most of the population lives along the coast and there is often only one route between any two areas. If the U.S. did issue an evacuation order for its citizens, it’s also more than likely thousands of Taiwanese residents would also be trying to get off the island as well, clogging the roads and overwhelming civilian transports.

Again, just because the U.S. government is making a plan to evacuate Americans from Taiwan does not mean the plan will ever actually be implemented.

If the government wants to avoid another evacuation disaster like the one seen in Kabul, then planning is prudent. Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines are also making contingency plans to evacuate their citizens if China invades.

Beyond protecting civilians, Taiwan also needs to protect its growing arsenal of weapons and military vehicles. A senior adviser with Taiwan’s Institute for National Policy Research said Taiwan’s military should disperse its assets across the island to prevent their destruction.

The adviser suggested hiding ammunition in civilian ships or creating underground bunkers for its aircraft and other military hardware. Also, since Taiwan is an island, there won’t be a front or rear of the attack. It will come from all sides. So, the adviser said Taiwan needs to be ready to defend in all directions.

And to that end, Taiwan is going to need some friends. The U.S. is repositioning Marines throughout the Pacific into littoral regiments. The Corps wants to use a new variant of Tomahawk cruise missiles to strike Chinese ships from a thousand miles away. The Marines can use some of the many small islands around Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines to carry out these attacks.

Not to be left out, Japan just announced it would earmark an additional $2 billion to develop hypersonic missile technology. Like the U.S., Taiwan, the Philippines and Australia, Japan sees China as the biggest regional threat to a peaceful Pacific.

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THE UNITED STATES IS MAKING PLANS TO EVACUATE ITS CITIZENS FROM TAIWAN. NOW, THIS DOESN’T MEAN THE GOVERNMENT THINKS A CHINESE INVASION IS IMMINENT, BUT IT IS MORE PROOF THE GOVERNMENT SEES IT AS A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY.

ACCORDING TO REPORTING BY THE MESSENGER, PLANNING FOR THE POTENTIAL EVACUATIONS STARTED AT LEAST SIX MONTHS AGO, DRIVEN BY HEIGHTENED LEVELS OF TENSION BOTH IN THE REGION AND ABROAD.

CHINA CONSIDERS THE ISLAND OF TAIWAN PART OF ITS SOVEREIGN TERRITORY AND SAID ITS WILLING TO USE MILITARY MIGHT TO FORCE ITS REUNIFICATION. WHILE SOME ANALYSTS SEE THAT AS A DIPLOMATIC BLUSTERING FROM BEIJING, IT CAN’T BE DISCREDITED.

CHINA HAS THE WORLD’S LARGEST NAVY, LEADS THE WORLD IN HYPERSONIC WEAPONRY, AND MAKES A REGULAR HABIT OF ENCIRCLING TAIWAN IN MILITARY DRILLS. THE FACT IS IF CHINA DOES INVADE, EVACUATING U.S. CITIZENS FROM THE ISLAND WILL BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.

IN 2019, THERE WERE AROUND 80,000 AMERICANS LIVING IN TAIWAN. THE ISLAND’S GEOGRAPHY WILL PLAY A HUGE FACTOR IN ANY EVACUATION PLAN. MOST OF THE POPULATION LIVES ALONG THE COAST AND THERE IS OFTEN ONLY ONE ROUTE BETWEEN ANY TWO AREAS. IF THE U.S. DID ISSUE AN EVACUATION ORDER FOR ITS CITIZENS, IT’S ALSO MORE THAN LIKELY THOUSANDS OF TAIWAN’S CITIZENS WOULD ALSO BE TRYING TO GET OFF THE ISLAND AS WELL, CLOGGING THE ROADS AND OVERWHELMING CIVILIAN TRANSPORTS.

AGAIN, JUST BECAUSE THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS MAKING A PLAN TO EVACUATE AMERICANS FROM TAIWAN DOESN’T MEAN THE PLAN WILL EVER ACTUALLY BE IMPLEMENTED. BUT IF THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO AVOID ANOTHER EVACUATION DISASTER LIKE THE ONE SEEN IN KABUL, THEN PLANNING IS ABSOLUTELY PRUDENT. JAPAN, INDONESIA, AND THE PHILIPPINES ARE ALSO MAKING CONTINGENCY PLANS TO EVACUATE THEIR CITIZENS IF CHINA INVADES.

BEYOND PROTECTING CIVILIANS, TAIWAN ALSO NEEDS TO PROTECT IT’S GROWING ARSENAL OF WEAPONS AND MILITARY VEHICLES. A SENIOR ADVISOR WITH TAIWAN’S INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL POLICY RESEARCH SAID TAIWAN’S MILITARY SHOULD DISPERSE ITS ASSETS ACROSS THE ISLAND TO PREVENT THEIR DESTRUCTION.

THE ADVISOR SUGGESTED HIDING AMMUNITION IN CIVILIAN SHIPS OR CREATING UNDERGROUND BUNKERS FOR ITS AIRCRAFT AND OTHER MILITARY HARDWARE. ALSO, SINCE TAIWAN IS AN ISLAND, THERE WON’T BE A FRONT OR REAR OF THE ATTACK. IT WILL COME FROM ALL SIDES. SO, TAIWAN NEEDS TO BE READY TO DEFEND IN ALL DIRECTIONS.

AND TO THAT END, TAIWAN IS GOING TO NEED SOME FRIENDS. THE U.S. IS RE-POSITIONING MARINES THROUGHOUT THE PACIFIC INTO LITTORAL REGIMENTS. THE CORPS WANTS TO USE A NEW VARIANT OF TOMAHAWK CRUISE MISSILES TO STRIKE CHINESE SHIPS FROM A THOUSAND MILES AWAY. THE MARINES CAN USE SOME OF THE MANY SMALL ISLANDS AROUND TAIWAN, JAPAN, AND THE PHILIPPINES TO CARRY OUT THESE ATTACKS.

NOT TO BE LEFT OUT, JAPAN JUST ANNOUNCED IT WOULD EARMARK AN ADDITIONAL 2 BILLION DOLLARS TO DEVELOP HYPERSONIC MISSILE TECHNOLOGY. LIKE THE U.S., TAIWAN, THE PHILIPPINES AND AUSTRALIA, JAPAN SEES CHINA AS THE BIGGEST REGIONAL THREAT TO A PEACEFUL PACIFIC.

FOR MORE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACT REPORTING ABOUT THE TENSIONS OVER TAIWAN, BE SURE TO CHECKOUT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.