Enrolment in classes to learn basic gun skills has increased by 50% in Taiwan since Russia's military invasion of Ukraine began in late February.
Many of the new recruits are young women, with critics saying if Taiwan wants the US, or any other country to help it fend off threats from China, it must show it's willing to fight.
Taiwanese MP Freddy Lim told the BBC, "people have begun to realise the reality that a stronger country could invade a smaller neighbouring country. They've seen what happened in Ukraine and it shows what could happen here."
On Wednesday US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, the highest ranking US official to visit there in 25 years.
Beijing is angered by the visit as it claims Taiwan is part of its territory, and it views visits by foreign government officials as recognition of the island’s sovereignty.