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Annual war games extended to allow greater discussion of results: MND

ROC Central News Agency

04/19/2021 05:05 PM

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) Taiwan's defense chief said Monday that the decision to extend this year's annual war games was made to enable more thorough discussion of the results of the exercises so the military can make adjustments accordingly.

Minister of Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) made the remarks when asked by reporters to comment on the extension of the computer-assisted war games section of the annual Han Kuang exercises from five days to eight days this year.

Local media have reported that the eight-day exercise from April 23-30 is the longest since the Han Kuang war games were first held in 1984.

Asked to comment, Chiu said the military has previously held five-day and seven-day Han Kuang exercises.

It was decided to extend this year's war games to eight days after a review of previous exercises concluded they were conducted too hastily, leaving little time for military units involved in the drills to undertake after action reviews, he added.

The decision was made before he assumed office as defense minister in February, Chiu said.

The Han Kuang war games are the nation's largest military exercises involving all branches of the armed forces. They are held annually in two stages; computer-assisted war games and live-fire drills.

This year's computer war games phase will be conducted 24/7 from April 23-30, using the Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS) system.

The live-fire drills will be staged from July 12-16, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The MND had previously announced the U.S. military will not observe this year's Han Kuang exercises for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the ministry will invite officials from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to observe, according to the MND. AIT represents U.S. interests in the country in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

The U.S. military has sent a delegation to observe the annual drill, which aims to test local armed forces' combat readiness in the event of a Chinese invasion, every year since 2003, local media has reported.

Last year was the first time a U.S. military delegation did not attend the annual war games. Officials from AIT observed the exercises in their place.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)


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