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Hsuehshan Tunnel to be closed for Han Kuang military exercises

ROC Central News Agency

2016/08/09 16:54:43

Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) The Hsuehshan Tunnel, which connects the greater Taipei area with northeastern Taiwan's Yilan County, will be closed for the first time for the annual Han Kuang military exercises at the end of August.

The tunnel will be closed during the Han Kuang No. 32 exercises as the military simulates defending Taipei from enemy attack, Ministry of National Defense (MND) Spokesman Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said at a press conference Tuesday.

The MND said that the closure of the tunnel will coincide with a regular annual fire drill conducted by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

It will only be closed during off-peak hours, and the date and time of the closure will be announced to the public after the timing has been confirmed, the MND said.

The Han Kuang exercises, which simulate various scenarios of a Chinese attack, will last from Aug. 22-26.

Several of Taiwan's newly acquired advanced weapons systems will be deployed in the war games, including the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter, the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, locally developed unmanned aerial vehicles, the Cloud Leopard armored vehicle, the Tuo Jiang (沱江) -- a locally designed stealth missile corvette -- and the Pan Shi (磐石), a locally developed supply vessel, said Zhong Shu-ming (鍾樹明), director of the MND's Joint Operation Division.

The exercises will also focus on electronic warfare and cyber attacks and defense, and the military said it has recruited information technology talent from the private sector to take part in the exercises for the first time.

The National Airborne Service Corps will also be included in the exercises for the first time. The Corps' Black Hawk and AS365 Dauphin helicopters will simulate rapid response scenarios and rescue operations for wounded soldiers, Zhong said.

Although President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is expected to attend the exercises, the MND declined to confirm that, as it has yet to release detailed plans for the exercises. It is expected to do so later this week.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Christie Chen)
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