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Taiwan begins artillery drills simulating defense against Chinese aggression

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The Taiwanese military began military drills in Pingtung County on Tuesday, including firing flares and artillery simulating defense against Beijing’s aggression. A spokesman said it was not a response to Chinese maneuvers launched last week.

In the wake of massive military maneuvers near Beijing, the Taiwanese army on Tuesday August 9 began a live ammunition artillery exercise simulating the defense of the island against a Chinese attack, an AFP journalist said on the spot. . .

Taiwan Eighth Corps spokesman Lu Woi-jae said the Taiwan drill was pre-scheduled and not a response to the ongoing Chinese drill.

The exercise began in Pingtung County (South), shortly after 0:40 a.m. GMT (2:40 p.m. in Paris), with flares and artillery fire. The exercise ended around 1:30 a.m. GMT (3:30 p.m. in Paris), said Lou Voi-jae.

The army said Thursday’s second exercise will involve the deployment of several hundred troops and about 40 howitzers.

regular exercise

The island regularly conducts military exercises simulating a Chinese offensive and was formed last month to repel attacks from the sea in a “joint interception operation” as part of its largest annual exercise.

The operations come as China launched its most significant military maneuvers around Taiwan last week, in response to a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most senior US official to visit the island. independent for decades.

China, with a population of around 23 million, considers Taiwan as one of its provinces, which has been successfully reunited with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949).

Before starting its military exercises, Taipei on Tuesday denounced the fact that Beijing was continuing its maneuvers in the region.

“China’s provocation and aggression have undermined the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and heightened tensions in the region,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. Taiwan said no Chinese warplanes or ships came within 12 nautical miles of Taiwanese waters during the Beijing exercise.

AFP. with