Taiwan To Hold Live-Fire Drill Near Spratly Islands In Preparation For Chinese Invasion

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Wed, 10/24/2018

China is preparing for a military invasion of Taiwan in 2020.

To counter the threat, Taipei has been conducting live-fire war drills.

The latest round of exercises will start next month.

Taiwan armed forces are planning a three-day live-fire military exercise on Taiping Island in the heavily disputed waters of the South China Sea to show claim to its sovereignty over the Spratly Islands — a move that will anger China and maybe Vietnam.

According to the South China Morning Post, the exercise is scheduled between 8 am and 9 am from November 21 to 23, is expected to upset Beijing, which has also claimed the Spratlys.

“Beijing’s sovereignty claim over the Spratlys is consistent with that of Taipei’s, and any live-fire drills on Taiping only serve to reinforce the mainland’s sovereignty over the region, given that Beijing considers Taiwan a part of China,” said Wang Kung-yi a professor of political science at Chinese Culture University in Taipei.

Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration said Tuesday that the drill would involve firing into the sea and air in the area around Taiping Islands — using 40mm grenade machine guns and other heavy weapons.

“It is a routine shooting practice, which we have held for years,” Tsai Tzung-hsien, head of the public relations department of the coastguard, told the South China Morning Post.

The drill will be held within a five nautical mile range of Taiping, is aimed at safeguarding the integrity of Taiwan’s territory and thwarting an invasion from Beijing.

Tsai said the drill would not endanger commercial shipping lanes close to Taiping.

South China Morning Post asked what sorts of weapons would be used, Tsai said: “We will test the responsiveness both our light and heavy weapons as well as our personnel.”

The South China Sea is a heavily disputed economic zone and has overlapping maritime claims by Brunei, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. An estimated $5 trillion of global trade flows through the region annually, which the U.S. and Australia want shipping channels to remain international waters and have launched “freedom of navigation” operations in the region.

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