Taiwan is conducting a five-day Han Guang military exercise designed to prepare the island’s forces for an attack by China, multiple news reports claimed. Four military aircrafts, including Taiwan’s self-made indigenous defensive fighter, the US-made F-16V and the French-made Mirage 2000-5, simulated what they would do if their air base were damaged by enemy forces.
China claims Taiwan is a part of its national territory, although the two have functioned independently since a civil war in 1949. Beijing has publicly said it seeks peaceful reunification with Taiwan. In the past few years, Taiwan has faced increasing harassment from Beijing, which has sent fighter jets flying towards the island on a near daily basis. China’s PLA had sent 19 fighter jets toward the southwestern part of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone in the last month.
In August, the PLA conducted live assault drills with a squad of fighter jets, anti-submarine aircraft and combat ships. China carried out assault drills near Taiwan then, with warships and fighter jets exercising off the southwest and southeast of the island in what the country’s armed forces said was a response to “external interference” and “provocations”. In a brief statement, the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command said warships, anti-submarine aircraft and fighter jets had been dispatched close to Taiwan to carry out “joint fire assault and other drills using actual troops”.