Taiwan conducts military games — Analysis

A number of Taiwanese air force aircraft flew over Taipei in order to test their air defense readiness.

The Taiwanese Air Force has held air-defense exercises in the vicinity of the country’s capital, Taipei, to prepare for a potential aerial attack by China, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) revealed. Officials claim that the drills were conducted on Tuesday morning to assess ground troops’ combat readiness and defensive abilities.

Focus Taiwan News outlet quotes an unnamed military source as saying that simulated sorties were conducted over the area near Taipei without any warning using several F-16 fighter jets from America and Taiwanese IDF fighters. Also, AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. It was intended to test the nation’s readiness for air defence in a realistic environment.

In the event of an attack by the Chinese, the official noted the importance of the drills.

On Tuesday, Taiwan’s military released a comic strip survival guide for civilians to use in case of war. This booklet contains tips for how to locate bomb shelters using smartphone apps and how to prepare emergency first aid kits. It also explains how to identify different types of air-raid sirens.

China issues warning over Taiwan

In recent weeks, plans have been made to increase the mandatory military service period for males beyond the four-month current limit. It would reverse the current trend, which has seen the mandatory stint in the military reduced gradually from 2 years in 1990s to 4 months.

Taiwan is de facto an independent country from China. In 1949 the Chinese civil War saw the loser flee to Taiwan, and Taiwan established its own administration. China has, however, always considered Taiwan its own and referred to the local government in that regard as separatists.

Beijing’s military operations around Taiwan Strait have increased over the last few years. It has been repeatedly stated by top Chinese officials including President Xi Jinping that Beijing is not afraid to take military action in order to reunite the province split with China.

Only a small number of countries officially recognize Taiwan’s independence. However, the US has long supported Taiwan militaryly, warning Beijing that it could face severe consequences if China tries to retake Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government increased its alert after Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine late February. However, it acknowledged that there were no immediate signs of an invasion from China at the moment.

Taiwanese President Tsai At-wen has been in office since 2016, and has been focusing on improving Taiwan’s defense capabilities.

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