The scene, inside the charming Da’an Park, is made all the more incongruous by the pavilion’s other visitors: young people on dates or in study groups, a couple practising bachata dancing to tinny Latin music.
But there is a seriousness among those here. The group is preparing for, well, anything. Taiwan has been under the threat of invasion for decades, but the ratcheting up of Chinese military missions and government rhetoric in recent years, and last month’s attack on Ukraine by Xi Jinping’s key ally Vladimir Putin, have set nerves on edge. Beijing claims Taiwan as a Chinese province and has sworn to “unify” it, by force if necessary.