Taiwan conducts military drills after China continues to make threats

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Taiwan conducts military drills after China continues to make threats

Taiwan army conducted a live-fire exercise on Thursday following Beijing stopped its biggest military exercise on the island and has repeatedly threatened to bring Taiwan’s democratic self-rule in its hands.

Beijing is furious over the visit to Taiwan this week led by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -the highest-ranking American elected American representative to travel Taiwan in years – arranging days of sea and air exercises around Taiwan that have increased tensions to the highest levels in recent years.

Taiwan has been accused by China of making use of China’s Pelosi visit as a reason to start drills that could permit it to practice for an attack.

Lou Woei-jyeis the spokesman of the Taiwan’s Eighth Army Corps, told AFP its troops shot howitzers and flares at targets in the course of the drill for defense on Thursday’s morning.

The drill located in Taiwan’s most southern county Pingtung started at 8:30am (0030 GMT) and lasted approximately one hour, he added.

Artillery that was tucked away from the ocean was laid out on top of each other with soldiers armed in groups firing howitzers out into the sea one after the other, a live feed was shown.

Taiwan conducted a similar exercise this week in Pingtung. Both were attended by hundreds of troops, the military stated.

The military has downplayed the significance of these exercises by saying that they were already planned and not a an attempt to counter China’s wargames.

“We have two objectives for these drills. The primary one is to confirm that the state of the artillery as well as their condition for maintenance, and the second goal is to verify the results of the last year’s drills” Lou said, referring to annual drills.

“Prepare for war”

The latest exercise took place after China’s military announced that the drills it was conducting came to an end on Wednesday, declaring that its troops “successfully accomplished different tasks” within various areas of the Taiwan Strait while vowing to keep on patrolling the waters of Taiwan.

Also Read: Taiwan condemns ‘evil neighbour’ China over war drills

However, in the same announcement, China added that it will “continue to provide military training and be prepared for the eventuality of war”.

In a different white paper released on Wednesday the The China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Beijing will “not abstain from using the force” against its neighbor, and kept “the option of taking any needed measures”.

“We are eager to build a huge space for peaceful unification However, we will leave no space for separatist actions regardless of way,” it said in the newspaper.

China last released a white paper about Taiwan back in the year 2000.

The Taiwanese foreign ministry on Thursday joined the top decision-making group on China in disadvantaging the “one country two system” system that Beijing has suggested for Taiwan.

“China’s entire statement is completely against the status quo of the cross-strait and is not a reality,” ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou said at a press event.

“China is employing US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to sabotage the status quo, and is making use of the opportunity to create troubles, and trying to establish an entirely new norm to intimidate people in Taiwan.” Taiwanese population.”

“One country Two systems” refers to the system that Hong Kong and Macau were granted freedom in the era of Chinese rule.

Taiwan regularly holds military drills that simulate defense against an Chinese invasion. Last month, the country practiced repelling threats from the ocean as part of an “joint interception exercise” in the course of the largest annual drills.

Responding to Chinese military’s announcement that the drills were coming to an end on Wednesday, Taiwan’s army stated it will “adjust the way we will deploy our forces…without dropping our guard”.

In the last few years Taiwan has transformed from an autocracy to an active democracy, and an increasingly distinctive Taiwanese identity has been established.

Relations between Taiwan and China have been deteriorating significantly in the years since Tsai Ing-wen was the Taiwan’s President in the year 2016.

Tsai along with the Democratic Progressive Party do not believe that Taiwan as a component of China.

Their platform is part of the broad definition of China’s Taiwanese independence, which includes those who want the island to be given distinct identity from mainland China.

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