Taiwan military drills simulate Chinese invasion | NRS-Import | DW | 30.05.2019
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Taiwan military drills simulate Chinese invasion

Thousands of air, sea, and land troops took part in the exercises across the entire island. The drills took place amidst what Taiwan says is increasing military intimidation from China.

Taiwan held major military drills on Thursday, meant to mimic an invading Chinese force. The country's air, sea, and land troops took part in the exercise designed to showcase the breadth of their capabilities in the event of an attack from across the Taiwan Strait.

"The military force of the Chinese Communist Party has continued to expand, without giving up the use of force to invade Taiwan," Defense Minister Yen The-fa told reporters.

Yen said China intends to "destroy regional stability and cross-strait security".

Female soldiers of an artillery unit take part in the live fire Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island, in Pingtung, Taiwan May 30, 2019. (Reuters, Tyrone Siu)

The drills incorporated many of Taiwan's military capabilities

Taiwan broke away from the mainland in 1949, but Beijing still maintains that there is only "one China" and claims the island as its territory.

In the exercises, fighter jets and warships opened fire as if an enemy had landed on the beachhead. More than 3,000 soldiers also held a live-fire drill in the southern area of Pingtung.

Jets also practiced landing on the country's main highways while air-raid drills brought its major cities to a standstill.

Explosions are seen at a target during the live fire Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island, in Pingtung, Taiwan May 30, 2019. (Reuters/T. Siu)

Officially known as the Republic of China, Taiwan only has full diplomatic relations with a handful of countries owing to Chinese pressure

The annual event took place amid increasing tension between Taiwan and China. Beijing believes that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is going to pursue formal independence for the island, which the mainland has long warned would be crossing a red line. The Chinese military has also been staging extensive drills near the island, which Taipei denounced as a clear provocation.

Earlier this month, US and Taiwanese security officials held a rare joint meeting, further angering Beijing.

es/msh (AP, Reuters)

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