Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to continue with military reforms after the end of a series of military exercises simulating the country’s invasion amid tensions with China.
“Only because the officers and soldiers in our armed forces hold their posts can we enjoy democracy and freedom,’’ the president said, speaking on Thursday during a military drill at Jianan beach, north of Taichung International Port.
Clad in full battle dress, Tsai promised the formation of joint force battalions, which were also featured in the simulated defence exercise combatting a presumably Chinese invasion.
“National security has never been won by falling to your knees,’’ President Tsai added, warning Taiwan’s 23 million citizens that their security “depends on the most robust defence.”
The mock landing marked the climax of a week of live-fire “Han Kuang” air, sea and land military exercises held across Taiwan.
During the exercise, the simulated invasion force disembarking at Jianan beach was first bombed offshore by IDF fighters, F-16V fighters and AH-65 Apache attack helicopters.
The mock-invaders were then shelled by two Navy frigates and M110 and M109 artillery, before being confronted by CM-33 “Cloud Leopard” armoured cars, anti-tank TOW missiles and M60A3 main battle tanks.
On Wednesday, Tsai also observed test firings of anti-missile, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles at the southern Jiupeng military base.
Taiwan has its own independent and democratically elected government, but Beijing claims sovereignty over the island.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
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