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Taiwan is conducting an artillery drill simulating defense against a Chinese attack

#Taiwan #conducting #artillery #drill #simulating #defense #Chinese #attack

Taiwan’s military conducted a live fire artillery drill on Tuesday to simulate defending the island from attack after days of massive Chinese war games, an AFP journalist at the site of the drill said.

Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for Taiwan’s 8th Army Corps, confirmed the drills, which began firing flares and artillery in southern Pingtung District just after 0040 GMT and ended within an hour at 0130 GMT.

As the last cannon was fired, Taiwanese soldiers were heard shouting “mission accomplished.”

China last week launched its biggest-ever war games around Taiwan in an angry response to a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top US official to visit the self-governing island in decades.

Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion from China, which sees its neighbor as part of Chinese territory to one day be conquered, by force if necessary.

Taipei’s drills, held on Tuesday and Thursday, will involve the deployment of hundreds of troops and about 40 howitzers, the army said.

Lou said the drills were already scheduled Monday and are not a reaction to China’s drills.

The island routinely conducts military drills simulating defenses against a Chinese invasion, and last month practiced repelling attacks from the sea in a “joint intercept operation” as part of its largest annual drill.

– ‘Not Worried’ –

The anti-landing drills come after China extended its own joint sea and air drills around Taiwan on Monday, but Washington said it doesn’t expect an escalation from Beijing.

“I’m not worried, but I’m worried that they’re moving as much as they are. But I don’t think they will do any more than they are,” Biden told reporters at Dover Air Force Base.

Ahead of Tuesday’s drill, Taipei condemned Beijing for continuing its military drills around the island.

“China’s provocation and aggression have damaged the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and increased tensions in the region,” the island’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Taiwan has insisted that no Chinese warplanes or ships enter its territorial waters – within 12 nautical miles of land – during exercises in Beijing.

However, the Chinese military last week released video of an Air Force pilot filming the island’s coast and mountains from his cockpit, showing how close he had come to Taiwan’s coast.

Ballistic missiles were also fired over Taiwan’s capital during exercises over the past week, according to Chinese state media.

The scale and intensity of China’s drills — as well as its withdrawal from key talks on climate and defense — have sparked outrage in the United States and other democracies.

But Beijing on Monday defended its behavior as “firm, forceful and proportionate” in the face of American provocation.

“(We) are only issuing a warning to the perpetrators,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular briefing, promising China will “resolutely shatter the illusion of the Taiwanese authorities that the US can win independence.” .

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