Defiant Taiwan Starts 5-Day Live Fire Drills Amid Rising Chinese Aggression

With increased activity, both military and diplomatic, from the Chinese side, Taiwan doesn't want to remain idle in its defence preparedness.

With Tensions in the South China Sea rising, Taiwan has swung into action to test it's defence capabilities. The Taiwanese defence forces have embarked upon a five-day war-game exercise where it will test the mettle of its forces against a simulated assault from the Chinese side.

The exercises were inaugurated by the Chief of the General Staff General Huang Shu-Kuang on Monday, according to a report published in local media. Taiwan is claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of its territory. However, Taiwan is under a different political authority and regards itself as an independent nation and the true representative of China.

Black Hawk helicopter
Taiwan's war games are on in full flow Pixabay

Chinese aggression

In the last month, Beijing acted with growing belligerence with many of its neighbours. It got involved in a border skirmish with Indian Army in the Himalayas where substantial fatalities were suffered by both sides.

The communist state has also passed a controversial law for Hong Kong that impinges upon the special status the territory has had since being handed over by the British in 1997. It has also increased its navy's activities in the South China Sea, a water body it regards as its own. In response, US Navy has deployed two of its aircraft carriers in the area.

Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, is expectedly not taking any chances. "We are testing the preservation capabilities of our forces in such a scenario and how ready our reserve forces would be," an unnamed source told the South China Morning Post.

Xi Jinping
China has been acting belligerently towards its neighbours of late Twitter

Taiwan, being a small island, has to create its military facilities in an ingenious manner. It has a huge airbase located underground at Chiashan in Hualien on the east side of its territory. This base played a key part in the exercises due to the massive role it would play if there is an attack from the Chinese side.

The official statement from the defence ministry of the island republic gave a more sober picture of the war exercises. "This year's Han Kuang exercise will primarily focus on testing Taiwan's defence strategies, which involve maintaining combat capabilities, pursuing decisive victory in coastal zones and subduing enemies in beach areas," it read.

Even though these exercises are an annual event, the greater intensity this time is clearly the result of growing tensions in the area. There has also been increased deployment of men and machinery by the Taiwanese forces off its southwest coast with naval vessels, submarines, and helicopters deployed to pose a threat of counter attack to Mainland China.

There is also a growing call in the U.S. for the country to officially recognise Taiwan. So far, the One China policy -- recognizing the People's Republic of China as the only Chinese state -- has been a cornerstone of policy for most nations who engage with the communist regime. But with anger over its mishandling of Coronavirus crisis and its behaviour over the last few weeks, things are looking tense.