Taiwan conducts artillery exercises in case of Chinese invasion

Taïwan conducts artillery drills in case of Chinese invasion

A spokesman for the Taiwanese army assured Monday that the exercises were already scheduled and that it was not a response to the ongoing Chinese exercises.

Taiwan's military conducted a live ammunition artillery exercise on Tuesday simulating the island's defense against a Chinese invasion, in the wake of extensive military maneuvers by Beijing for several days.

An AFP reporter on the scene saw the start of operations in Pingtung County shortly after 8:40 a.m. local time, with flares and artillery fire .

The drill ended around 9:30 a.m., said Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for Taiwan's Eighth Army Corps.

Flare and artillery fire occurred Tuesday morning in Pingtung County.

The drills, with a second scheduled for Thursday, will involve the deployment of several hundred troops and about 40 howitzers, the military said.

China launched its biggest military maneuvers around Taiwan last week, in response to a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit the self-governing island in decades. decades.

Beijing considers Taiwan, with a population of about 23 million, to be one of its provinces, which it does not have yet to reunite with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

Lou Woei-jye assured on Monday that the Taiwanese exercises were already scheduled and that it was not a response to the ongoing Chinese exercises.

The island regularly holds military exercises simulating a Chinese invasion. The latest, last month, when she practiced repelling attacks from the sea during a joint interception operation.

These were his biggest annual exercises.

The Taiwan drills come after China extended its own joint sea and air maneuvers around the island on Monday.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said Tuesday that Beijing was using its military exercises near the island to prepare for an invasion there.

For Washington, the risk of escalation from Beijing is low .

“I'm not worried, but I'm concerned that they're moving so much. But I don't think they are going to do anything more. »

—Joe Biden, President of the United States

Before starting its own military exercises, Taipei on Tuesday condemned the fact that Beijing continues its maneuvers around the territory.

China's provocation and aggression have undermined the status quo of the Taiwan Strait and raised tensions in the region, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

No Chinese warplanes or ships entered Taiwan's territorial waters — within 12 nautical miles of land — during the Beijing drills, Taiwan pointed out.

< p class="e-p">Last week, however, the Chinese military released a video of an Air Force pilot filming the island's coast and mountains from his cockpit. , showing how close it had come to the Taiwanese coast.

Ballistic missiles were also fired over the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, during the exercises of the last week, Chinese state media reported.

The scale and intensity of China's exercises — coupled with its withdrawal from international negotiations around climate and defense — sparked outrage in the United States and other Western countries.

But Beijing on Monday defended its behavior, calling it firm, forceful and appropriate in the face of the American provocation.

[We] are only issuing a warning to those responsible for this crisis, argued the spokesperson for the Ministry of A Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin, at a press briefing, promising that China will firmly break the illusion of the Taiwanese authorities to obtain independence through the United States .

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