Air drill part of annual Han Kuang military exercises held across island, which began Monday and are due to end Friday
ANKARA (AA) – Taiwan on Wednesday held mass air exercises across the island as part of its annual Han Kuang military exercises.
A brief statement by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said aircraft landed on highways, used as makeshift runways, for refueling.
Unlike in years past, Taiwanese defense authorities did not impose any restrictions on public movement this year.
The island nation began the 37th edition of its annual Han Kuang military exercises on Monday.
President Tsai Ing-wen visited air force personnel in a southern city on Wednesday before the 30-minute air drill began.
“This morning, I visited Air Force units in my home county of Pingtung as they began day 3 of Taiwan’s Han Kuang military exercises. It was an honor to witness their rigorous training and dedication to protecting our nation’s airspace,” she said on Twitter.
“Such splendid combat skills and rapid and real actions come from solid everyday training and also demonstrate the confidence of the Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan) in defending its airspace,” Tsai said.
According to the official Focus Taiwan news website: “The drill is aimed mainly at raising awareness of emergency warnings, so as to reduce the possibility of casualties and damage, particularly in the event of an air attack.”
Beijing claims the island nation of Taiwan as a “breakaway province,” while Taipei insists it has been independent since 1949.
Taipei has maintained independent diplomatic ties with at least 16 countries, angering Beijing.