Taiwan to launch annual military exercises with lessons from Ukraine

04/27/2022 01:13 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Taiwan's annual major military exercises this year will incorporate lessons learned from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to sharpen combat preparedness against a Chinese invasion, the military announced Wednesday.

The 38th edition of the Han Kuang exercises will focus on testing the armed forces' asymmetrical warfare, its ability to combat cognitive warfare and mobilize reserve forces, as well as its all-out defense readiness by incorporating civilians, announced Major General Lin Wen-huang (林文皇), who is in charge of planning at the defense ministry.

These are all lessons Taiwan has learned from Ukraine's military performance amid a full-scale Russian invasion, he said.

The upcoming exercises will also focus on eliminating invading forces at sea and along the coastline, and integrating reservists, police, and civilian units (such as firefighters and volunteers) to ensure the whole country can unite to fend off an invasion, he added.

All participants of the exercises will also follow COVID-19 pandemic prevention measures, including wearing masks at all times and maintaining social distancing, he said.

As with previous editions, this year's Han Kuang exercises are again being held in two stages -- wargames and live-fire drills.

The wargames phase will be conducted around the clock from May 16 to 20, to simulate the military's defense tactics against all possible scenarios of a Chinese invasion.

However, unlike previous editions, this year's wargame will not be held in a computerized format but instead will use an actual wargame map on a table, according to Lin.

A military source told CNA that the decision to ditch the computerized wargame format this year was because an actual wargame map simulation allows generals to meet face-to-face to discuss strategy, which is better than using computers. The live-fire drills, meanwhile, will be staged from July 25-29 at military drill grounds around the country.

The annual Han Kuang exercises, first held in 1984, are the nation's largest military exercises involving all branches of the armed forces to test the country's combat readiness in case of a Chinese invasion.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)

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