Taiwan announces defense drills after Beijing’s

Taiwan announces defense drills after Beijing’s

Taiwan will hold live-fire military exercises this week simulating a defense of the island against a Chinese invasion, officials said Monday, as Beijing conducts new exercises around the island. “We will train to counter simulated enemy attacks on Taiwan,” Lou Woei-jye, a spokesman for the Eighth Army corps, told AFP.

Beijing keeps up the pressure

The island’s forces will train to deal with landings on Tuesday and Thursday in the far southern Pingtung region, the Taiwanese military said. Several hundred soldiers and about 40 howitzers will be deployed for these exercises, according to the same source.

The democratic and autonomous island lives under the constant threat of an invasion by China, which considers its neighbor as part of its territory to be recovered one day, by force if necessary. Defying calls to end several days of military exercises encircling the autonomous island, Beijing continued joint air and sea exercises on Monday, in the wake of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei last week.

A tense geopolitical context

Mr Lou said the Taiwanese exercises were already scheduled and that it was not a response to the ongoing Chinese exercises. The island regularly holds military exercises simulating a Chinese invasion and last month trained to repel attacks from the sea in a “joint interception operation,” as part of its biggest annual exercises.

In recent days, China has been accused of faking a blockade and invasion of the main island of Taiwan during its exercises, which were originally scheduled to end on Sunday. Beijing railed against the trip by Ms Pelosi, the most senior US elected official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, breaking a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington, including on climate change and defence.

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