Taiwan Shows Off Military Hardware Used To Thwart China Attack—Pictures

Taiwan carried out a series of drills this week to simulate a Chinese invasion.

Photos show some of the land, air, and maritime scenarios troops prepared for in the exercises, held just weeks after Taiwan’s national elections and ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The drills came as China steps up military, economic and political pressure on the island to punish its pro-sovereignty ruling party.

Taiwan is making an effort to shore up its defensive capabilities, including extending mandatory military service to one year, starting with this year’s recruits.

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Tanks take part in a drill in Taitung, Taiwan, on January 31, 2024. The drill comes as China steps up military, economic and political pressure on Taiwan to punish the island’s pro-sovereignty ruling party.
Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images

During a simulated Chinese attack on the eastern county of Taitung, the army and air force jointly carried out reconnaissance operations, Taiwan’s defense ministry told media at a press conference Wednesday.

Troops also simulated a siege against a town being held by enemy forces, with M60A3 tanks and other armored vehicles deployed to work in tandem with snipers.

Taitung Area Command chief Major Gen. Tan Yong told media the drill “strengthened integration of the intelligence chain, command chain, kill chain, and communication chain, in accordance with the joint-operation plan.”

It also “improved overall combat capability, and achieved the goal of optimizing combat readiness.”

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Military personnel are seen during a drill in Taitung, Taiwan, on January 31, 2024. Taiwan carried out a series of drills this week to simulate a Chinese invasion.
Annabelle Chih/Getty Images

The southern city of Kaohsiung saw Taiwan navy assault boats, minelaying vessels and missile boats take part in drills in Zuoying Harbor on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, in the southern county of Pingtung, Taiwan’s air force carried out exercises featuring C-130 Hercules transport planes, E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft and P-3C Orion submarine hunters.

China continues to put pressure on Taiwan in the wake of the island’s January 13 presidential and legislative elections.

Last week, reports emerged that Beijing had deployed warships with the intention of maintaining a constant naval presence in strategic areas around Taiwan.

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A Taiwan Air Force E-2K Hawkeye, front, P-3C Orion, center, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules are seen at an airbase in Pingtung, Taiwan, on January 30, 2024. China has dispatched military planes on near-daily sorties over the Taiwan Strait.
Annabelle Chih/Getty Images

China has also dispatched military aircraft on near-daily sorties in the Taiwan Strait, including across the so-called median line, prompting Taiwan to send fighter jets to intercept them.

Wednesday saw 33 Chinese military sorties in the 100-mile-wide strait, Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a press release Thursday. Of these, 14 crossed the de facto center line, which until recent years China largely avoided doing.

Last month, Taiwan’s defense ministry began reporting instances of Chinese balloons drifting over the strait and, unlike Chinese warplanes, sometimes over Taiwan itself, in what an expert told Newsweek is a new low-risk way to pressure the island.

Earlier this month, Taiwan’s military deployed Sky Bow 3 missiles to Pingtung in response to continued activity by China’s People’s Liberation Army in the island’s southern airspace.

China claims Taiwan and has pledged to someday unite with it, by force if necessary, despite the fact the current government in Beijing has never ruled there.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s written request for comment.

An M60A3 tank is seen during a military drill in Taitung, Taiwan, on January 31, 2024. China continues to put pressure on Taiwan in the wake of the island’s January 13 presidential and legislative elections.

Annabelle Chih/Getty Images
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