Collapsing buildings, incoming missiles: Taiwan rehearses a Chinese assault on its cities


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On a Thursday afternoon in Taipei, it was 26 August 2025 and China’s military had just fired a missile into the city, hitting an apartment block. Chinese navy ships had massed in the Taiwan Strait and war was expected. It was all hands on deck. Rescue squads and paramedics raced around blocked off sites in the city’s business district. Cherrypickers and cranes plucked rookie firefighters – dressed as injured civilians – from the rooftop of a fake demolished building and half-crushed buses. The first responders hailed from the Red Cross, volunteer defence groups, reservists and nursing students. They did not...