As tensions with China escalating, Taiwan commenced a five day long live-fire war games exercise putting its defences to the test against a Beijing invasion, South China Morning Post reported.

Chief of the General Staff Huang Shu-kuang kicked off the annual drill – dubbed Han Kuang – on Monday, giving orders from the Taiwan top command centre in Taipei.
According to a military source, the first day involved simulated People’s Liberation Army missile attacks targeting command centres, airports and military bases in Taiwan.

“We are testing the preservation capabilities of our forces in such a scenario and how ready our reserve forces would be,” said the source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

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For decades, the Chinese government has claimed authority over Taiwan. Though Taiwan is not recognised by the UN, its government maintains a relationship with the US and does not accept the Chinese authority.

Lately, there has been a marked increase in military operations around the island’s territorial waters. In response, the Taiwan government has tried to project strength, appearing alongside officers at a conferral ceremony and calling on the military to remain vigilant.

Taiwan’s massive underground Chiashan airbase in Hualien, strategically located on the island’s east coast, was a key part of the drill so far, the military source said.

Meanwhile, naval vessels and the island’s two submarines were sent to waters off Taiwan’s southwest coast to prepare for a counter-attack, while army surveillance and attack helicopters were also deployed, the source said.

“This year’s Han Kuang exercise will primarily focus on testing Taiwan’s defence strategies, which involve maintaining combat capabilities, pursuing decisive victory in coastal zones and subduing enemies in beach areas,” Taiwan’s defence ministry said.

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