(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Taiwan’s military has announced a series of newly designed large-scale military drills for this year aimed at countering China’s renewed threat to use force to gain control over the island.
While Taiwan’s armed forces regularly hold such exercises, this year’s drills announced on Wednesday are “being drafted based on newly adopted tactics for defending against a possible Chinese invasion”, the official Central News Agency quoted defence ministry planning chief Major-General Yeh Kuo-hui as saying.
China claims sovereignty over the self-governing island, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949.
Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed the threat of force in his January 2 message to the island, saying China reserved the right if necessary to counter interference by external forces – and what he called an extremely small number of Taiwanese separatists.
Although Xi didn’t mention the United States by name, Washington is a key supplier of weaponry to the island and is legally bound to respond to threats against Taiwan.