Taiwanese military drills come after China extended its own joint sea and air maneuvers around the island on Monday.
Taiwan's military conducted a live ammunition artillery exercise on Tuesday simulating the island's defense against a Chinese invasion that the island accuses Beijing of plotting.
An Agence France-Presse reporter on the scene noted the start of operations in Pingtung County shortly after 12:40 a.m. (GMT), with flares and artillery fire. The drills ended around 1:30 a.m. (GMT), said Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for Taiwan's Eighth Army Corps.
Several hundred troops were deployed, along with about 40 howitzers, the army said. A new exercise is scheduled for Thursday.
Tuesday's exercise attracted many onlookers.
We must have countermeasures against the blockade of mainland China, said Chen, who did not not give his first name.
“Having military exercises will also let them know that Taiwan is ready. I hope both sides can exercise some restraint. »
China launched its largest military air and sea maneuvers around Taiwan last week in response to a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit the island. autonomous for decades.
Beijing used the drills and its military roadmap to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan, Taiwan's top diplomat Joseph Wu has accused , at a press conference in Taipei after the Taiwan maneuvers.
A Taiwanese army artillery unit.
The real China's intention is to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and across the region, he added.
It conducts large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyberattacks, disinformation campaign and economic coercion to weaken people's morale in Taiwan, he said.
China considers Taiwan, with a population of about 23 million, to be one of its provinces, which it has yet to pass to reunite with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949).
Lou Woei-jye assured on Monday that the Taiwanese exercises were already scheduled and that it was not a response to ongoing Chinese maneuvers.
The island regularly holds military drills simulating a Chinese invasion.
The Taiwanese drills come after China extended its own joint sea and air maneuvers around the island on Monday. x27;island.
They prompted a warning, as usual, from Beijing.
Any attempt to oppose, by armed force, the current of history and reunification will inevitably face the firm opposition of the whole Chinese people . It would be overestimating your abilities, being reckless and doomed to failure, Chinese Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press briefing on Tuesday.
The Chinese military confirmed that exercises were continuing on Tuesday, involving air and sea units.
The Taiwanese military held a live-fire exercise in response to China's recent live-fire exercises.
The People's Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command said in a statement that it was conducting training exercises around the island, focusing on joint blockade and blockade operations. of support.
Joseph Wu was quick to thank his Western allies during his press conference, including Nancy Pelosi, for standing up to China.
“It also sends a clear message to the world that democracy will not yield to the bullying of authoritarianism. »
— Joseph Wu, Taiwan's Foreign Minister
No Chinese warplanes or ships have entered Taiwan's territorial waters – within 12 nautical miles of the earth – during the Beijing exercises, Taiwan pointed out.
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, according to Chinese state media.
The scale and intensity of China's exercises, as well as 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 American provocation.
Taiwan is on high alert.
[We] are only issuing a warning to those responsible for this crisis, Wang Wenbin argued, promising that China would firmly break the x27;illusion of the Taiwanese authorities to obtain independence through the United States.
Washington, however, considered that the risk of escalation from Beijing was weak. I'm not worried, but I'm concerned that they're fussing around so much. But I don't believe they are doing more than they are doing, President Joe Biden told reporters.