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Taiwan's anti-paratroop combat capability tested in annual drill

2012/04/19 13:33:24

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) An exercise to test Taiwan's anti-paratroop combat readiness was conducted Thursday in northern Taiwan as part of the country's annual Han Kuang military exercises simulating attacks by China.

More than 200 paratroopers participated in the drill held at the Hsinchu air force base -- the base in Taiwan proper that is closest to China -- to act as opposing Chinese forces, the Ministry of National Defense said.

Part of the Han Kuang exercises that began April 16, the drill also incorporated AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters, C-130 transport planes and dozens of advanced weapons to demonstrate Taiwan's ability to fend off invading troops.

The drill, which was open to the media, saw more than 1,500 troops mobilized, mainly from the army and the air force, the ministry said.

Other war games were also staged around Taiwan that day, one day before the round-the-clock exercises were due to conclude.

The Han Kuang exercises are Taiwan's most important war games. They involve the army, the air force and the navy and are designed to test the country's defense and combat capabilities.

Despite the warming ties across the Taiwan Strait, President Ma Ying-jeou has reiterated the need for Taiwan to maintain its self-defense capabilities in case of attack by China.

As China has never renounced the use of force, Taiwan should not let its guard down, Ma said a day earlier during an inspection tour of a command center in Taipei for an update on the exercises.

Ma visited the center just hours after his return from a 12-day visit to three of Taiwan's African allies -- Burkina Faso, The Gambia and Swaziland.

(By Elaine Hou)
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