Home International Taiwan military simulates China turning drills into an attack

Taiwan military simulates China turning drills into an attack

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Taiwan’s military on Wednesday simulated a scenario where China suddenly turns one of its regular drills around the island into an actual attack, on the same day that China staged another “combat readiness patrol” near Taiwan.

A member of Taiwan’s armed forces participates in a drill as part of a demonstration for the media to show combat readiness, ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, at a military base in Taitung, Taiwan, January 31, 2024. Picture: Reuters, Carlos Garcia Rawlins

By Fabian Hamacher

TAITUNG, Taiwan – Taiwan’s military on Wednesday simulated a scenario where China suddenly turns one of its regular drills around the island into an actual attack, on the same day China staged another “combat readiness patrol” near Taiwan.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory despite the objections of the government in Taipei, says China’s armed forces routinely operate in the skies and seas around the island in an effort to pressure Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty.

Taiwan’s defence ministry says Chinese warplanes and warships often carry out “joint combat readiness patrols”. It reported another such patrol on Wednesday, involving 22 Chinese aircraft.

In the exercise carried out in front of media in Taiwan’s eastern county of Taitung, troops, tanks and armoured personnel carriers advanced across the ground as explosions rang out, beating back an invading force.

The defence ministry said the exercise “simulated the enemy military turning drills into war during joint combat readiness patrols” with “concealed people” guiding aerial strikes and commando assaults on critical infrastructure and other targets.

“The Critical Target Counter-Infiltration Drill demonstrated the results of our troops’ peacetime training,” officer Ko Ting-yi told reporters.

“In the face of increasingly frequent enemy threats, the army has continued to make breakthroughs and strengthen its training, while the troops have used realistic combat training to enhance basic combat capabilities.”

Over the past year-and-a-half China has staged two rounds of major war games around Taiwan, raising fears of a conflict which would could drag in the United States and its allies, especially Japan.

China practised precision strikes and blockades in drills around the island last April after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles.

Taiwan’s traditional military thinking during a conflict has been to use its mountainous east coast, especially the two air bases there, as a place to regroup and preserve its forces given it does not directly face China unlike Taiwan’s west coast.

But China has increasingly been flexing its muscles off Taiwan’s east coast, sailing warships and flying warplanes and drones there and showing its ability to operate much further away from China’s own coastline.

– REUTERS

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