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2017 Han Kuang Exercises to kick off on May 25: MND

2017/04/23 19:32:27

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) The annual Han Kuang military exercises will begin on May 25, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Sunday, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will be invited to follow the drills.

MND spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said the invitation has been delivered to the Presidential Office, but no response has been received.

Some media reports said on Sunday that to prepare for the annual war games the MND will conduct drills on May 9 and May 16 in which F-16 jet fighters will fire AGM-65 Maverick missiles in the air over the Penghu Islands.

Chen would not directly comment on the reports, saying only that "everything is being carefully planned based on our original plans."

According to the MND, the 2017 Han Kuang Exercises will be carried out in May in two stages, one centered on live-fire drills and the other focused on computer-simulated war games.

This year the exercises will create a scenario of a military deployment by China's People's Liberation Army in 2025 and include F-35 fighters as a parameter in its computerized war games to simulate combat tactics and strategies, MND officials said.

The ministry said live-fire drills will be carried out on the Penghu Islands on May 25, with the involvement of all three branches of the military -- the Army, Navy and Air Force.

(By Claudia Liu and Elizabeth Hsu)