Taiwan military drill repels ‘invasion as China tensions rise

Lester Mason
June 9, 2018

China should be prepared for crisis in the Taiwan Strait, the hawkish Global Times newspaper said in an editorial on Friday, amid rising tension between Beijing and Washington over the self-ruled island that China sees as a wayward province.

Taiwan simulated repelling an invading force on Thursday and used civilian-operated drones for the first time as part of annual military drills on the self-ruled island amid escalating tensions with China.

China's air force has conducted a series of military maneuvers near the island in recent months that Taipei has denounced as intimidation. "It is the flourishing basis of society, and it is the back-up force for our values of democracy and freedom", Tsai said at the Han Kuang drills in the central Taiwanese city of Taichung.

Reuters reported Washington was considering sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait.

Live-fire drills began on Monday with troops simulating surprise air and coastal assaults to reflect increased military threats from China, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province to be brought back into the fold - by force if necessary.

Beijing has also stepped up diplomatic pressure on Taipei, luring four countries to switch allegiance from Taiwan to China since Tsai took office.

"This is one way we hope to deepen our dialogue on both sides", he added.

Taiwan has said it has received assurances from eSwatini that ties are secure.

In May, the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean and the West African nation Burkina Faso severed ties with Taiwan and established ties with China.

As for how US air carriers are planning to handle the Taiwan naming issue, Doug Parker, chief executive of American Airlines said to FT that it is "between countries".

The mainstream public, especially the young generation, supports the independence movement of Taiwan and wants to see stronger relations with the U.S.to counter China's suppression of Taiwan and to cement Taiwan's independent sovereignty.

The comments reflect earlier statements by the newspaper, which said last month China must prepare to forcefully respond to any "extreme" US interference in the South China Sea.

Tsai has said she wants to maintain the status quo, but will protect Taiwan's security and not be bullied by Beijing.

China said on Monday it opposed the United States selling weapons to Taiwan, after the Trump administration approved the marketing licence required for USA manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan that would allow for building submarines.

China repeatedly says that the USA acceptance that Taiwan and China are one country is the political bedrock for healthy ties between them.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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