Taiwan begins live-fire defense drill after Chinese maneuvers
Beijing, Aug 9 (EFE).- Taiwan’s army began live-fire maneuvers Tuesday to test its defensive capacity against a possible Chinese invasion, the same day Beijing extended military exercises for a sixth consecutive day around the island that began last week.
The annual heavy artillery tests Taiwan announced are being conducted at the Fenggang training camp, state news agency CNA reported.
The training area, which spans a kilometer of coastline in Fenggang, simulates the defensive combat mode in which Taiwanese forces would seek to block an enemy advance at sea.
The exercise area does not “overlap at all” with the one used in the previous days by the People’s Liberation Army, said Lou Weijie, director of War Policy in the Taiwan army.
The crisis between Taiwan and China comes from the visit to the island last week by United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Beijing had said it would take serious reprisals if she made the trip.
In response to these recent military exercises by China, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Wu Zhaoxie said at a press conference Tuesday that these are “an unreasonable provocation” and that Pelosi’s trip “is just an excuse for China.”
“China is trying to turn the Taiwan Strait into an inland sea, denying the status quo that it is an international waterway, undermining the international community’s right to freedom of navigation,” Wu added.
At the conference, the Taiwanese diplomat chief called on all countries that “love freedom and democracy” to work together and jointly discuss how to deal with “China’s actions and methods against Taiwan.”
China’s army said it would extend military maneuvers it has been carrying out for six days – and were supposed to conclude Sunday – around Taiwan.
In a statement published on China’s Weibo social platform, China’s army said “it will continue to organize joint combat-oriented maneuvers by sea and air,” focusing Tuesday on “containment and joint security operations.” EFE