The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion.
The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills.
Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion.
As part of the drills, air force fighter jets that were originally deployed in the western part of Taiwan were dispatched to Hualien Air Base in the east in a simulation of an invasion, a military source said.
Military C-130 transport aircraft also sent military personnel responsible for fighter jet maintenance, together with related equipment and supplies, to designated locations in eastern Taiwan early in the day, the source said.
Another source said that the aircraft included F-16Vs and Mirage 2000s, while Indigenous Defense Fighter jets were dispatched to air bases in western Taiwan.
Meanwhile, all of the nation’s major naval vessels left their home ports and sailed to designated locations off the coast in preparation for confronting enemy forces.
The ships’ early departure is a preventive measure in anticipation of enemy bombardment of Taiwan’s ports, a military source said.
A biological agent containment exercise was also held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons.
Soldiers were promptly sent to nearby hospitals for simulated treatment by civilian doctors.
The military also rehearsed its procedures for the decontamination of vehicles and equipment during the drill.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday wrote on Facebook that the exercises constituted a solid foundation for the nation’s security.
This year’s exercises in particular are aimed at showing the world the armed forces’ resolve in protecting the nation, she wrote.
The Han Kuang exercises have been held annually since 1984 in the form of live-fire drills and computerized war games.
This year’s tabletop drills were held from April 23 to 30.
The live-fire exercises were originally scheduled to start on July 12 and run for five days.
However, due to a domestic outbreak of COVID-19, the military postponed the live-fire component of the drill and rescheduled it for this week.
The scope of the drills has also been scaled down to contain any possible spread of the virus.
TAIWAN PROTECTION MEASURE: US Army General Charles Flynn would not say where in the Asia-Pacific the missiles would be sent, but only that they would arrive in 2024 The US is to send medium-range missiles including the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk to the Asia-Pacific next year to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan, US military news Web site Defense One reported. The report cited comments US Army General Charles Flynn made during the annual Halifax International Security Forum on Nov. 19. “We have tested them and we have a battery or two of them today,” Flynn was quoted as saying. “In 24. We intend to deploy that system in your region. I’m not going to say where and when. But I will just say that we will
LOYALTY: The 10 active and retired soldiers betrayed the nation and its people by leaking and passing on military secrets to China, the High Prosecutors’ Office said Ten former and current military officers were yesterday indicted on charges of spying for China, including two who allegedly filmed themselves pledging loyalty to Beijing. The High Prosecutors’ Office requested life imprisonment for the suspects in light of the severity of the crime. The 10 active-duty and retired officers included members of the 601st Brigade of the Aviation Special Forces comprising attack helicopter squadrons and elite combat units in charge of defending northern Taiwan, including Taipei. The other suspects came from Huadong Defense Command, in charge of defending the eastern coast; Kinmen Defense Command, in charge of defending Kinmen and Matsu; and one
NO FREE LUNCH: Taiwanese joining the trips to China met TAO and United Front Work officials who urged them to vote for candidates who support closer ties with Beijing The Ciaotou Prosecutors’ Office in Kaohsiung yesterday released two suspects on bail who have been accused of recruiting Taiwanese to join tours to China funded by Beijing and in which they were urged to vote for pan-blue candidates in January’s presidential and legislative elections. The pan-blue camp generally refers to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party, the New Party and the Young China Party, which support closer relations with China. Prosecutors said that a man, surnamed Cheng (鄭), and a woman, surnamed Yeh (葉), who are members of the China Pan-Blue Association, recruited Taiwanese tourists to join tours arranged
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday slammed a proposal by New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, to permit a “significant number” of Chinese students to study and work in Taiwan, saying it would be detrimental to young Taiwanese. At an event on Monday hosted by nine major industrial and business groups, Hou said that if elected, he would reinitiate cross-strait dialogue on the premise that Taiwan’s dignity would not be compromised and that the talks would be held in good faith. The talks would include lifting a ban on Chinese tour groups and