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China's simulated attack on Taiwan hurts feelings on both sides: MND

2015/07/22 21:00:23

Screenshot from Beijing's CCTV

Taipei, July 22 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Wednesday a Chinese military exercise that reportedly simulated an attack on Taiwan has hurt the feelings of people in both Taiwan and China.

Since June, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been conducting a series of military exercises, coded "Stride 2015 Zhurihe," at Zhurihe Training Base in Inner Mongolia.

Beijing-based state-run China Central Television on July 5 showed video clip of PLA special forces sprinting into a five-story building that looked like Taiwan's Presidential Office.

The video gave rise to speculations that the exercises were simulating an attack on Taiwan.

Asked about the matter, Defense Ministry spokesman Lou Shou-he (羅紹和) said such a scenario not only hurts the feeling of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait but is also unacceptable to the Taiwanese people and the international community.

He said Taiwan's military has been closely monitoring China's ongoing exercises, and continues its arms procurement based on President Ma Ying-jeou's defense guidelines and his policy of not engaging in an arms race with China.

The Taiwan military is committed to improving the country's self-defense, safeguarding national security and people's property and lives, and maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Luo said.

Senior military sources have said the Taiwan Strait is still a military flashpoint as China has never renounced the use of force against Taiwan. Beijing's military deployments and logistics preparations remain focused on invading Taiwan and preventing foreign forces from intervening in Taiwan Strait affairs, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said the scenario used by China in its ongoing exercises is proof that Beijing has never renounced the use of military force against Taiwan.

"In the past seven years, while the Ma Ying-jeou administration has been bragging about good and peaceful cross-strait relations, Beijing has continued its military preparations against Taiwan," DPP spokesman Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said.

He said that if the DPP wins the presidential election in January 2016, it will take measures to reinforce national defense by means that will include increased defense spending.

The party will work to safeguard national security and maintain regional stability, Cheng said.

In Beijing, a spokesman for China's Ministry of National Defense said the annual military exercise is just a "routine" activity that is not aimed at any specific target.

(By Lu Hsin-hui, Chou Hui-ying and Elizabeth Hsu)
ENDITEM/pc