After decades of threats from mainland China, tensions over Taiwan are arguably higher than at any time since 1949. As Chinese President Xi Jinping considers the use of force to invade the island and steps up military preparations, the threat of war hangs over 23 million Taiwanese citizens. FRANCE 24′s team went to Taiwan to experience first-hand how people are coping. They met citizens tempted by independence, young politicians on the campaign trail and billionaire warmonger Robert Tsao, who is spending his fortune on preparing the defence of Taiwan.
After Ukraine, will Taiwan be next? Will the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, really embark on the hegemonic path of “reunification”? Reunification is an absurd concept for the Taiwanese, who have never felt so far removed from China amid the growing possibility of conflict.
The defence of Taiwan has become the obsession of Robert Tsao, one of the island’s richest men, who has decided to put his wealth towards what he calls the resistance to Beijing’s oppression. In particular, he finances military training courses with the aim of establishing a civil defence force of 300,000 volunteers.