Taiwan military drills simulate confrontation with China
Iran Press TV
Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:4AM
Taiwan has launched a live-fire anti-landing drill to simulate a scenario of confrontation with China.
The drills was staged on Thursday as part of this year's five-day annual military exercise codenamed "Han Kuang 31" (Han Glory) in the northern Hsinchu county with the aim of examining Taiwanese armed forces' performance in a potential confrontation with China.
President Ma Ying-jeou presided over the exercise as he has vowed to maintain a battle-ready force while seeking peace with Beijing.
Addressing around 800 servicemen involved in the drill in a military base, he stressed that although "cross-Strait ties are the most stable over the past 66 years, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has by no means slackened its military preparedness."
"We want to prevent wars but we're not afraid of fighting...While serving as a peace maker, we also want to operate solid and self-sufficient forces," the president added.
The drills which started on Monday will run until Friday. They began after televised images from China on July 22 showed a staged ground troop attack on a red tower and attached low-rises that bore similarity to Taiwan's presidential compound.
China and Taiwan are separated by the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean. They split in 1949 following a civil war, but Beijing still regards the island as part of its territory. China has also not rejected the use of force against Taiwan if it declares independence.
Ties between the two neighbors started to improve since 2008 when Ma took office; however, the island has not stopped to regard China as a threat.
During Thursday's drill, Taiwan's armed forces' reaction to a Chinese invasion, in which a fleet of enemy ships moved toward a harbor close to Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park, was simulated.
Part of the ongoing drills was also staged earlier this week in Kinmen, a Taiwan-controlled island group close to China's southeast Xiamen city.
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