This General Tsao is no chicken.
Robert Tsao, founder of United Microelectronics, said he’ll spend his own fortune to recruit and train “civilian warriors” and sharpshooters to protect the island nation from an increasingly belligerent China. The 75-year-old magnate made the announcement Thursday while wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet.
“If we can successfully resist China’s ambitions, we not only will be able to safeguard our homeland but make a big contribution to the world situation and the development of civilization,” he said.
The arms sale to Taiwan is a good start, but it’s not enough.
China is not deterred and they can continue tighten the political noose on Taiwan.
We ought to immediately take the long overdue step of offering Taiwan diplomatic recognition as a free and sovereign country.
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) September 4, 2022
Tsao previously supported unifying Taiwan and China and clashed with the Taiwanese government over an investigation of his company. But he told Radio Free Asia that he changed his mind after Beijing’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. He said he intends to “die in Taiwan and stand with its people.”
“Given the Chinese Communist party’s record of atrocities against its own people and its brutal domination of those like the Uyghurs who are not even Chinese, the CCP’s threats have only ignited among the Taiwanese people a bitter hatred against this threatening enemy, and a shared determination to resist,” he said.
Tsao will work with the Kuma Academy, which trains Taiwanese civilians in guerrilla warfare. With funding from Tsao, the academy intends to train millions of freedom fighters over the next three years.
“This goal is ambitious and the challenge is daunting, but Taiwan has no time to hesitate,” the academy said in a statement.
Taiwan is on tenterhooks as China has ramped up military operations on, around, and even over the nation it claims as its own. Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion that began in February has inspired Taiwanese citizens to prepare for battle. Taiwan’s army numbers fewer than 100,000 and would be hard-pressed to defend against an attack from the mainland without help.
“War is not a matter for a few people, and defending Taiwan is for every Taiwanese,” Kuma Academy’s statement said. “Everyone has the ability and responsibility to contribute their own strength in the war.”
Tensions between the two nations have spiked, especially after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan. China responded with live-fire military exercises around Taiwan, including missile tests. Last week, Taiwan shot down a Chinese drone that had flown over one of its military facilities.
The U.S. has agreed to sell $1.1 billion worth of weapons and defense equipment to Taiwan, including a radar system to track incoming strikes and anti-ship and anti-air missiles.