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Taiwanese troops using tanks, mortars and small arms today organized a drill aimed at repelling an attack by China, which has increased its threats to take back the island and its own displays of military might.

“No matter what is happening around the Taiwan Strait, our determination to protect our homeland will never change,” Major General Chen Chong-ji, director of the department of political warfare, said of the exercise at the Hukou army base al south of the capital. Taipei.

General Chen said the exercise was intended to show Taiwan’s determination to keep the peace between the parties through a show of force.

Taiwan has conducted a drill designed to oppose an attack by China. (AP)

The drills are also intended to reassure the public that the military is keeping up its guard ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year festival, when many troops are saying goodbye.

Hukou’s base is located in Hsinchu County, a hub for Taiwan’s high-tech industries that have thrived despite constant threats of invasion from China, which views autonomous island democracy as part of its own territory for be conquered by force if necessary.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has sought to bolster the island’s defenses with the purchase of billions of dollars of weapons from the US, including upgraded F-16 fighters, armed drones, fire systems. rockets and Harpoon missiles capable of hitting both ships and land targets. .

The Chinese government believes that Taiwan is its territory. (AP)

It has also boosted support for the island’s indigenous arms industry, including launching a program to build new submarines to counter China’s growing naval capabilities.

China’s increased threats come as economic and political temptations bear little fruit, leading it to stage war games and send fighter jets and reconnaissance planes almost daily to the island of 24 million people, which It is located 160 km off the southeast coast of China across the Taiwan Strait. .

Along with the world’s largest permanent army, with around two million members, China has the largest navy, with about 350 ships, including two aircraft carriers and some 56 submarines.

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It also owns around 2,000 fighter jets and bombers and 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles, considered a key strategic and psychological weapon against Taiwan.

Taiwan’s armed forces are a fraction of that number, with much of its land force consisting of short-term recruits, and its fleet numbers only about 86 vessels, about half of them coastal patrol missile launches.

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