Taipei (AFP) – Taiwan began two days of military drills Tuesday simulating an attack by China as the government sought to reassure the public in the face of deteriorating relations with Beijing.
The island’s armed forces gathered in central Taiwan for annual drills that saw troops practise combat skills with tanks, attack helicopters and artillery.
“The military has active measures to deal with the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea so the public can rest assured. We will enhance training 365 days a year,” defence spokesman Chen Chung-chi said.
Beijing considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province and part of “one China” to be brought back within its fold, by force if necessary.
China has stepped up drills in recent weeks after being angered by an unprecedented call between Taiwan’s Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen and United States president-elect Donald Trump.
The US switched its diplomatic recognition of China from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
Tuesday’s drill mimicked an attack by China in a scenario where its war vessels have crossed over the middle line of the Taiwan Strait.
Soldiers held positions next to a US-made Avenger air defence missile system during the drill in central Taichung city as special forces moved in formation through woods and a tank set off smoke bombs and crushed a car.
It comes after Beijing’s only aircraft carrier sailed through the strait last week in what was seen as a show of strength.
Full article: Taiwan simulates China attacks as tension rises (Yahoo!)