TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Lee Hsi-min, former chief of the general staff of Taiwan, emphasized on Friday (Nov. 24) the importance of investing more resources in civil defense to enhance the island nation's preparedness against potential invasions from China.
Speaking on the sidelines of the "Civil Defense as a Social Movement? Scholars meet Activists & the Military," Workshop and Roundtables on Civil Defense in Taiwan, Lee highlighted the essential role of social consensus and defense innovation.
Lee argued that civil defense initiatives require widespread public agreement to become a significant social movement. He also noted the ideological and national identity differences within Taiwan, which pose challenges for civil defense to gain traction as a social movement.
"Civil defense needs social consensus. Without social consensus, it is very hard to become a social movement," Lee remarked.
According to the military official, the government's reluctance to fund these initiatives stems from a common misconception that civil defense is synonymous with war. This reluctance, he argues, can be overcome with stronger public support and consensus.
In light of increasing cross-strait tensions, Lee emphasized his Overall Defense Concept (ODC) as a strategy to demonstrate Taiwan's collective resolve and capability to defend itself. He believes this approach will significantly disrupt and complicate any enemy war plans.
Looking ahead, Lee expressed his hope that Taiwan's future president will avert conflict through political and diplomatic measures while pursuing defense reforms and innovations to deter China from considering an invasion.
With the presidential election just 48 days away, Lee stressed the importance of the president-elect uniting the Taiwanese people, regardless of their political affiliations. "When people are not divided, then we can see the hope in the future," he concluded.