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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan drill tests defense capability against air attack by China

ROC Central News Agency

2017/05/23 19:50:11

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) All three branches of Taiwan's military took part in a drill Tuesday to test the country's defense capability against a simulated attack by China, in the second stage of this year's Han Kuang series of military exercises, according to the military.

During the drill, F-16 jets, which took off from bases in Hualien and Chiayi, flew a route that simulated an attack by China on Taiwan proper, the military said.

In response, ground forces from the three branches of Taiwan's military were deployed in the joint operations with the aim of testing the country's defense capabilities, the military said.

The exercise was focused on closely monitoring the movements of "enemy aircraft" and taking defensive action, according to the military.

Another exercise was also conducted in northern Taiwan, simulating a breach of some major military bases by enemy forces. The mission of the Taiwan units was to take back those bases, the military said.

In addition, it said, a drill was held Tuesday afternoon on the outlying island of Kinmen, testing the amphibious warfare capabilities of special troops that were assigned to rescue hostages held by enemy forces.

As in previous years, the Han Kuang drills were divided into two parts: computer-simulated war games that were held on May 1-5, followed by live-fire exercises that are being conducted this week, Monday to Friday.

All three branches of Taiwan's military -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- are involved in the five-day, round-the-clock exercises, to test their coordinated response to simulated assaults by China's military.

Two live-fire drills are scheduled for Thursday, including one on the Penghu islands in the Taiwan Strait, simulating an amphibious landing there by enemy forces, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is expected to observe the drill in Penghu, the ministry said.

The annual Han Kuang exercises, now in their 33rd year, are Taiwan's most important war games.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elaine Hou)

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