Taiwan’s military is simulating attacks due to political rivalry in China this week, despite general friendship ties between both countries. This is after Beijing staged what appeared to be a strike against the presidential office in Taipei.
The drill known as the Han Kuang Exercise of Taiwan was held from Monday to Friday, September 7 to 11, and involved 69 more aircrafts funded by Taiwanese Government.
The main objective of the drill is to test homegrown military hardware, including a drone system and Taiwan’s first indigenous stealth missile corvette warship.
Meanwhile, the China’s military announced 3 days of live-fire exercises on Thursday at the Taiwan Strait. This part of the program focuses on more realistic training involving the navy, air force and army troops.
It was not stated clearly if the exercises starting Friday are related to Taiwan’s drills. Army troops of Taiwan fired howitzer leaving shells resulting to haze smoke on land. Troops were placed at a hillside in Northern Taiwan about one kilometer into the ocean strait facing China.
Since 1940’s, China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan, when the Communists routed the Nationalists in a civil war. The Nationalists rebased in Taiwan, which China says must eventually be unified with the Mainland, although it has not openly threatened Taiwan since 2005.
Political disputes between the countries were set aside since 2008 because of an open dialogue that has led to more than 20 agreements on trade, transit and investment. However, these deals have failed to help the Chinese government’s hopes in appealing Taiwan’s idea of unification.
Taiwan considers China as its only major potential military threat. The two sides are separated by an ocean strait that is 160 km (100 miles) across its narrowest point.
According to statistical database GlobalFirepower.com, China’s military is the third most powerful in the World; Taiwan’s military meanwhile is at the no. 15 spot.