Saturday, August 17, 2019 | ePaper

Taiwan announces new-look military drills to counter China

  • Print
AP, Taipei :
Taiwan's military on Wednesday announced a series of newly designed large-scale military drills for this year aimed at countering China's renewed threat to use force to gain control over the island.
While Taiwan's armed forces regularly hold such exercises, this year's drills are "being drafted based on newly adopted tactics for defending against a possible Chinese invasion," the official Central News Agency quoted Defense Ministry planning chief Maj. Gen. Yeh Kuo-hui as saying.
China claims sovereignty over the self-governing island democracy, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949.
Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed the threat of force in his Jan. 2 message to the island, saying China reserved that right if necessary to counter interference by external forces and what he called an extremely small number of Taiwanese separatists.
Although Xi didn't mention the U.S. by name, Washington is a key supplier of weaponry to the island and is legally bound to respond to threats against Taiwan.
With its 3 million-member armed forces and the world's second largest defense budget of $173 billion, China has the overwhelming military edge over Taiwan. Xi has been ratcheting up the military threat to put pressure on independence-leaning Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Tsai responded to Xi's speech by rejecting demands for unification between the sides, saying, "China must face the fact of the existence of Taiwan."
Taiwan wields a much smaller by technologically sophisticated force that would be relied on to hold off a Chinese assault until outside help arrives.
In recent years, Taiwan's strategy has evolved from defeating a Chinese landing force to repelling an invasion on sea and in the air.
The draft outlaws playing the anthem "in a distorted or disrespectful way, with intent to insult." It also forbids altering the anthem's lyrics and its score. As well as possible jail time, offenders will also face fines of up to HK$50,000 ($6,000).
Patrick Nip, secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, told reporters the law would "preserve the dignity of the national anthem and promote respect".
Defiant Hong Kong football fans have booed the anthem at matches for years. Fans have also previously turned their backs and displayed Hong Kong independence banners during matches as some activists call for the city to split with the mainland, a notion that infuriates Beijing.
The draft bill cited the difficulty of identifying culprits in a crowd of football supporters as one of the reasons police will be given double the amount of time-one year-to investigate a non-indictable offence.

More News For this Category

US govt to go ahead with $8b sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, angering China

US govt to go ahead with $8b sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, angering China

Agencies, Washington :The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a US$8 billion sale of 66 F-16 fighter aircraft to Taiwan, according to two influential senators, a move expected to add

Hundreds defy restrictions, join protests in Kashmir

Hundreds defy restrictions, join protests in Kashmir

AP, New Delhi :Hundreds of people protested an unprecedented security crackdown and clashed with police Friday in Indian-controlled Kashmir, as India's government said it was constantly reviewing the situation in

Discussions on Afghan peace deal go ‘very well’, says Trump's spokesman

Discussions on Afghan peace deal go ‘very well’, says Trump's spokesman

The White House says President Donald Trump's talks with his national security advisers to discuss Afghan peace talks went "very well" and that negotiations with the Taliban "are proceeding."Officials on

News In Brief

Johnson to meet Macron, Merkel next weekReuters, LondonBritish leader Boris Johnson will travel to meet his French and German counterparts on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, in his first foreign

Gibraltar orders Iranian tanker release despite US detention bid

Gibraltar orders Iranian tanker release despite US detention bid

AFP, Gibraltar :Gibraltar's Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favour of releasing an Iranian supertanker seized on suspicion of shipping oil to war-torn Syria in breach of international sanctions,

Malaysia to question Zakir Naik for comments against Malaysian Hindus

Malaysia to question Zakir Naik for comments against Malaysian Hindus

Reuters, Kuala Lumpur :Malaysian authorities will summon controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for questioning after he allegedly made racially sensitive remarks in the multi-ethnic nation, the government said on

Now Trump wants US to buy Greenland, reports Wall Street Journal

Now Trump wants US to buy Greenland, reports Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post :President Donald Trump has pushed top aides to investigate whether the U.S. government can purchase the giant, ice-smothered island of Greenland, two people with direct knowledge

N Korea fires more projectiles, rules out talks with South

N Korea fires more projectiles, rules out talks with South

AP, Seoul :North Korea on Friday bluntly criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in for continuing to hold military exercises with the U.S. and over his rosy comments on inter-Korean

News In Brief

Amnesty urges Sudan's military to extradite ousted al-BashirAP, Cairo Amnesty International is urging Sudan's military rulers to hand over longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court to

Indonesia President proposes to move capital to Borneo

Indonesia President proposes to move capital to Borneo

Reuters, Jakarta :Indonesia's president on Friday proposed to move the capital from Jakarta, a crowded, polluted city of 10 million people, to the island of Borneo, though he left