Wearing a bulletproof vest, billionaire Robert Tsao, founder of United Microelectronics Corp, announced at a Thursday press conference that the Chinese Communist Party’s threat to Taiwan was growing. The 75-year-old says he plans to train “three million people in three years,” and will work with the island’s civilian defense organization – the Kuma Academy.
“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 in a prepared statement.
“I am back in Taiwan, and I will die in Taiwan. I will not watch the CCP turn Taiwan into another Hong Kong,” he said during his speech in Taipei.
According to the Guardian, 60% of the funds would go towards the army of “warriors,” while 40% would be to train another 300,000 in how to shoot.
“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.
Tsao was formerly an active supporter of unifying Taiwan with China, and had renounced his Taiwanese citizenship in protest against a government investigation of his company. However, he told Radio Free Asia that he had a change of heart after witnessing the crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, particularly the Yuen Long MTR attack. On Thursday he also announced he had renounced his Singaporean citizenship and that his Taiwanese citizenship had been restored and he planned to “die in Taiwan and stand with its people”. -The Guardian
Established in 2021, the Kuma academy is aimed at training Taiwan’s civilian population in guerilla warfare, self-defense, and first-aid skills.
“This goal is ambitious and the challenge is daunting, but Taiwan has no time to hesitate,” the academy said in a statement, citing efforts by the British after the second world war, as well as the Ukrainian response to the ongoing Russian invasion.
The academy – which was approached by Taso after launching a fundraiser – said that the will of Taiwan’s people to resist a CCP invasion would “determine the outcome of the war.”
“War is not a matter for a few people, and defending Taiwan is for every Taiwanese. Everyone has the ability and responsibility to contribute their own strength in the war.”