Fenggang Municipality, Taiwan:
The Taiwanese military began a live-fire artillery exercise on Tuesday, simulating a defense of the island against an attack after days of massive Chinese military exercises, an AFP journalist at the site of the exercise said.
Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for Taiwan’s Eighth Army Corps, confirmed that the exercises had started firing target flares and artillery shortly after 0040 GMT in Pingtung County, southern.
The exercise will end around 0130 GMT, he added.
China launched its largest-ever war game around Taiwan last week in an outraged response to a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit the self-ruled island in decades.
Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion from China, which sees its neighbor as part of Chinese territory that will one day be reclaimed, by force if necessary.
The Taipei exercises, taking place on Tuesday and Thursday, will involve the deployment of hundreds of troops and about 40 howitzers, the military said.
Lou said Monday the drills were already planned and not being held in response to the Chinese drills.
The island routinely conducts military exercises simulating a Chinese invasion, and last month it practiced naval defense strikes in a “joint interception operation” as part of its largest annual exercises.
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