- The scale and intensity of China's drills, as well as its withdrawal from key climate and defence talks, have outraged the US and other democracies.
- According to Chinese state media, ballistic missiles were also fired over Taiwan's capital during the exercises last week.
After days of massive Chinese war games, Taiwan’s military held a live-fire artillery drill Tuesday simulating the island’s defence against an attack, according to an AFP journalist on the scene.
The drills began shortly after 0040 GMT in the southern county of Pingtung with the firing of target flares and artillery and ended an hour later at 0130 GMT, according to Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for Taiwan’s Eighth Army Corps.
Taiwanese soldiers were heard shouting “mission accomplished” as the final round of cannon fire was fired.
Taiwan is constantly threatened by Chinese invasion, which sees its neighbour as part of Chinese territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary.
The army said that hundreds of troops and about 40 howitzers will be deployed in Taipei for drills on Tuesday and Thursday.
The drills, according to Lou, were already planned and were not in response to China’s exercises.
As part of its largest annual exercises, the island routinely conducts military drills simulating a Chinese invasion, and last month practised repelling attacks from the sea in a “joint interception operation.”
The anti-landing drills come after China extended its own joint sea and air exercises around Taiwan on Monday, but Washington said it does not expect Beijing to escalate.
“I’m not concerned, but I am concerned about how quickly they are moving. But I doubt they’ll go any further than they already have “Biden made the remarks to reporters at Dover Air Force Base.
Taipei condemned Beijing for continuing its military exercises around the island ahead of Tuesday’s drill.
“China’s provocation and aggression have harmed the status quo of the Taiwan Strait and heightened regional tensions,” the island’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Taiwan has insisted that no Chinese warplanes or ships flew within 12 nautical miles of its territory during Beijing’s drills.
Last week, the Chinese military released a video of an air force pilot filming the island’s coastline and mountains from his cockpit, demonstrating how close it had come to Taiwan’s shores.
According to Chinese state media, ballistic missiles were also fired over Taiwan’s capital during the exercises last week.
The scale and intensity of China’s drills, as well as its withdrawal from key climate and defence talks, have outraged the US and other democracies.
However, Beijing defended its actions as “firm, forceful, and appropriate” in response to American provocation on Monday.
“We are only issuing a warning to the perpetrators,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference, promising that China would “firmly smash the Taiwan authorities’ illusion of gaining independence through the US.”