Taipei: At a time when relations between the United States and China are strained over Taiwan, the island has begun conducting a military exercise to counter China’s attack. The Taiwanese army informed that helicopter drone was tested for the first time during the drills carried out by the combined arms battalion, part of the army’s 584th brigade. When the exercise was underway, two Chinese reconnaissance planes infiltrated Taiwan’s airspace.
Over the past year, the United States has dramatically increased its military and diplomatic cooperation with Taiwan. China has become quite nervous due to the growing US-Taiwan association and warned it would sanction US officials. Simultaneously, a Taiwanese think tank report stated that China is using ‘cognitive warfare’ against the island. Given the events, Taiwan carrying out drills, which aim to deter a Chinese confrontation, assumes much significance.
The exercise began on Tuesday at the Hukou Army Base, south of the capital Taipei. The combined arms battalion, comprising of soldiers from all three services, has participated in the exercise. The military said the drills’ objective was thwarting attempts by Chinese armed forces to seize Taiwan’s airport under various circumstances. According to the Taiwanese Defense Ministry, this is the first time a drone helicopter was used in the exercise. Taiwanese official Major General Chen Chong-ji stated that ‘No matter what happens in and around the Taiwan Strait, it will not affect our determination to protect the motherland.’
Even as the Taiwanese military was carrying out drills, China had not stopped its attempts to infiltrate Taiwan. On Tuesday morning, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said two Chinese reconnaissance planes had entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone. Also, infiltrating aircraft have electronic warfare capabilities.