‘Air raid alert’: Taiwan holds annual evacuation drill amid China pressure

TAIPEI: Cities throughout northern Taiwan ordered vehicles off roads and folks to remain indoors on Monday for an annual air-raid train because the island steps up preparations within the occasion of a Chinese language assault amid rising navy threats from Beijing.

Sirens sounded at 1.30pm (0530 GMT) for the obligatory avenue evacuation drills, which successfully shut cities and cities together with its capital Taipei for half-hour.
An “air raid alert”, asking individuals to evacuate to security instantly, was despatched by way of textual content message.

“While you obtain the textual content message, please pay attention to the wordings reminiscent of ‘take a look at’ and ‘drill’ and keep calm,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen mentioned in a reminder to the general public on Fb about an hour earlier than the train named Wan An, which suggests eternal peace.
China, which views democratically ruled Taiwan as its territory, has been staging common workout routines across the island for the previous three years, to stress Taipei to just accept Beijing’s declare of sovereignty regardless of the island’s robust rejections.
Within the bustling procuring district of Ximending in Taipei, some outlets pulled down their shutters and police directed
passersby and autos together with meals supply drivers on bikes to maneuver to the facet of the highway and search shelter.
Vacationers with baggage had been seen taking shelter in a subway station, some shocked and unsure what had occurred.
“I heard the siren and I used to be anxious, not realizing what occurred particularly we’re foreigners out of the country,”
mentioned Lee Jang Ho, a vacationer from South Korea.
Among the many numerous drills carried out by authorities in Taipei, some residents had been instructed to hunt shelter in basement parking tons with their palms protecting their eyes and ears whereas holding their mouths open – to minimise the impression of blast waves from missiles.
Sirens sounded half-hour later to offer the all-clear. Different elements of Taiwan, the place periodic air-raid drills are required by legislation, will perform avenue evacuation drills this week.
Beijing has stepped up its warnings towards a visit to the US by Taiwan vice chairman and presidential
frontrunner William Lai subsequent month, whereas the highest US diplomat in Taipei urged China to not take “provocative” motion in response to the transient transits.

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