In March, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the American Institute in Taiwan that US President Joe Biden was set to approve his administration’s first weapons sale to Taiwan, in a move intended to beef up the island nation’s armed forces against possible attack from Chinese troops.
Chiu Kuo Cheng, the newly appointed US-trained head of Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, revealed during a Monday parliamentary hearing that the government plans to expand the country’s military reserve force by including volunteers from local Buddhist and Taoist temples.
Chiu added that the expansion would also include community leaders and members of non-governmental organizations, such as the churches and temples who already function as key players by providing food and shelter during major emergencies.
Newsweek reports that defense ministry analysts concluded this holy “temple militia” would not be fighting on the front lines if a Chinese invasion were to happen. However, the expansion of familiar arms based around villages and townships could contribute greatly to the insurgencies and defenses of key roads and bridges.