The Han Kuang field exercises this year are to simulate a Chinese attack on the Ching Chuan Kang (清泉崗) Air Base in Taichung, a senior Ministry of National Defense official said yesterday.
An exercise to repel an amphibious invasion is to be staged on Thursday next week in Penghu County by all branches of the armed forces, followed the next day by the “assault” on Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, the official said on condition of anonymity.
The air base is to come under attack from the north, south and east, the official said.
Photo: Lo Tian-pin, Taipei Times
An air-land scenario has been devised to address the growing threat of a multi-directional Chinese attack launched from the sea against high-value military targets, the official said.
It is likely that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has included those options in case of a cross-strait war because PLA aviation exercises are increasingly conducted in air and sea space to the east, north and south of Taiwan, the official said.
The defense of the base will be the final stage of the field exercises, and is to take place under the assumption that Chinese missile strikes on Taiwan’s air and naval bases and political-military centers have degraded the nation’s radar and air-defense systems, the official said.
Under that hypothesis, the PLA might launch additional strikes via long-range bombers and carrier-based planes on Taiwan proper, the official said.
The ministry’s initial plan to defend the airbase included only simulated attacks by Chinese airborne units, but on May 1 senior commanders added air attacks by fighters and bombers to the mix, the official said.
According to an air traffic notice from the military, a pair of Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters from the Hsinchu Air Base would first act as combat air patrol, before becoming the aggressor and reconnoitering the air space over Taichung.
Four AIDC F-CK-1s from the Tainan Air Base are to simulate air attacks on the Taichung base, while four F-16s based in Hualien are to cross the Central Mountain Range to attack it.
A mixed air squadron based in Pingtung County is to conduct a simulated attack by airborne troops.
The invaders are to launch a paratroop attack by dropping six planeloads of special operations forces as well as supplies and vehicles.
Defensive actions are to involve all branches, including interceptions by air force fighters and army surface-to-air missiles.
Army and marines ground troops will conduct anti-airborne missions and counterattacks to retake the base, the official said.
This story has been updated since it was first published to correct the romanized name of the drills to Han Kuang.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the
NOT JUST CHIPS: Although semiconductor processes are on the list, it also includes military technology and post-quantum cryptography to combat emerging cyberthreats The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) yesterday released a list of 22 technologies it considers crucial to the nation’s security and competitiveness, including the 14-nanometer semiconductor process and advanced chip packaging. For the first time, the council made a list of core technologies with an aim of preventing secret information about those technologies being leaked to foreign countries, which could put the nation’s security and the competitiveness of local industries at risk. For years, local semiconductor companies have faced challenges from talent poaching and theft of corporate secrets by Chinese competitors, who are seeking to rapidly advance their technology capabilities through