TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. government is reportedly working on plans to evacuate U.S. citizens in Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack on the island.
On Monday (June 12), the “Courier” quoted three people familiar with the matter as saying that at a time when tensions in the Taiwan Strait are escalating, the US government is formulating a plan to evacuate US citizens. A U.S. intelligence official told the news agency that preparations have been underway for at least six months and have accelerated in the past two months.
“Increased tensions” prompted the expedited measures, the official said. China’s military build-up, Beijing’s siding with Moscow over the war in Ukraine and Russia’s 2022 invasion all played a role, the sources said.
The evacuation arrangements have been kept low-key as Taipei considers it a sensitive topic, one source said. A former State Department official noted that even mentioning such preparations could give the impression of an imminent crisis, even if it was really just an act of “prudent planning.”
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Miners declined to respond directly to questions when news organizations asked for comment on the plans. He did stress, however, that “we do not believe a conflict across the Taiwan Strait is imminent or inevitable.”
On Tuesday (June 13), Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense released the civil defense manual, which is 20 pages longer than last year’s version. Of particular note, detailed illustrations show differences in the uniforms worn by Taiwanese soldiers and PLA soldiers, allowing civilians to identify friend or foe.