Taiwan aware of planned Chinese live-fire drill in Taiwan Strait - Focus Taiwan

Taiwan aware of planned Chinese live-fire drill in Taiwan Strait

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense said Thursday that it is aware of Chinese live-fire military drills that will begin Friday, the last day of Taiwan's most important annual war games, the Han Kuang series of military exercises.

The exercise is part of China's annual military training operations, said ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he (羅紹和), in response to a notice about the upcoming military exercises posted that day on the website of China's Maritime Safety Administration, warning that ships are prohibited from entering the area designated for the drill.

According to the notice, the drill will be held 3 p.m.-5 p.m. from Friday to Sunday.

The ground forces in China's southeastern province of Fujian will conduct regular artillery firings at an area about 14 nautical miles off Weitou, Luo said, adding that Taiwan's military "is fully aware of" China's upcoming live-fire exercise.

Earlier that day, President Ma Ying-jeou observed artillery forces in an anti-amphibious landing exercise that simulated an attempt by Chinese forces to land on the shores of Hsinchu in northern Taiwan.

Ma, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the country's armed forces, inspected the drill, which incorporated 18 8-inch M110 self-propelled howitzers and 20 M109 self-propelled 155mm howitzers.

A total of 304 shells were fired during the drill designed to simulate a scenario of fending off enemy craft attempting to make a landing.

It was part of the second stage of the "Han Kuang 31" series of military exercises taking place Sept. 7-11, simulating an attack from China.

The war games include live-fire drills and see the Army, Navy and Air Force test their joint operations in the face of the continued military threat from China. They follow computer-aided war games held in May.

(By Elaine Hou)ENDITEM/J

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