Taiwan holds live-fire drills as tensions with China mount

SinoDaily.com reports: “Taiwanese troops Tuesday staged live-fire exercises simulating a response to an invasion, as China stepped up pressure on the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen and a row over airline routes escalated.

The military sent reconnaissance aircraft to observe simulated incoming ships, and tanks fired rounds as the ‘enemy’ landed at the eastern port of Hualien.

Attack helicopters fired flares and F-16 fighter jets launched simulated assaults, backing up the ground battle against the ‘enemy’ troops — who wore red helmets to differentiate themselves.

The ministry did not specify that the annual drill simulated an invasion by China but said it was intended to ‘show determination to safeguard peace in the Taiwan Strait and national security’.

The Taiwan Strait separates the island from China.

Tsai last month warned against what she called Beijing’s ‘military expansion’ — the increase in Chinese air and naval drills around the island since she came to power in May 2016…”

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