Asia Pacific

Taiwan to Prepare for Chinese Blockade in Annual War Drills

Taiwan’s military will practice intercepting warships and combating a Chinese blockade of the island during annual war game simulations in July, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

Democratic Taiwan lives under constant threat of an attack by Beijing, which views the island as part of its territory that must be reunified.

The annual “Han Kuang” (Han Glory) drills will be divided into computer war games in May tackling “various possible actions of the enemy’s invasion of Taiwan” and partial live-fire exercises in July, the ministry said.

“Our scenarios are based on the enemy’s current threats to invade Taiwan and its recent military exercises harassing Taiwan,” Major General Lin Wen-huang told reporters when asked whether China’s Shandong aircraft carrier would factor into this year’s scenarios.

The Shandong was used by Beijing during military exercises this month simulating targeted strikes and a blockade of Taiwan.

The five-day exercises in July will help bolster Taiwan’s ability to intercept China’s naval and amphibious fleets, Lin said.

The military will also practice “joint anti-blockade on the main external waterways to maintain the safety of marine transportation routes and counter the enemy’s blockade,” he said.

Taiwan also incorporated lessons from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into last year’s Han Kuang drills and planned to do so again, the ministry said.

Beijing’s saber-rattling has intensified in recent years.

Its most recent war games were a response to a meeting between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

On the last day of the drills, Beijing sent 54 aircraft into the island’s southwestern and southeastern air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the highest number recorded in a single day since October 2021.

Beijing launched its largest-ever military exercises around the island last August, following a visit to Taiwan by McCarthy’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi.

Taiwan and mainland China are separated by the Taiwan Strait, a narrow waterway that Beijing claims as its own.

The presence of Chinese warships and ADIZ incursions by jets has become a routine occurrence in recent years.

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