Taiwan jets practise landing on highways as drills simulating Chinese attack reach climax

·2-min read
In this photo released by the Military News Agency, tanks prepare for the annual Han Kuang live-fire drills in Hualian, eastern Taiwan in the early hours of Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Military News Agency via AP) (Military News Agency)
In this photo released by the Military News Agency, tanks prepare for the annual Han Kuang live-fire drills in Hualian, eastern Taiwan in the early hours of Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Military News Agency via AP) (Military News Agency)

Taiwan carried out practice landings for aircraft, including an indigenous one, as part of its annual drill to prepare its defence in the event of an attack by China.

A Taiwanese-made Indigenous Defensive Fighter, US-made F-16, French-made Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K early warning aircraft landed on a highway being used as a makeshift runway in a rural area of Jiadong, in Pingtung County early on Wednesday.

According to Associated Press, the highway was designed to be used as a runway to practice what would be done if their airbase was damaged by enemy forces.

The exercise is part of a five-day military exercise to prepare the forces as tensions between Taiwan and China increase and Beijing continues to claim its ownership over the island.

The exercise was overseen by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen who won a landslide victory on the promise of dealing with China’s threats.

“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 in defending its airspace,” Ms Tsai wrote, referring to Taiwan by its formal name.

Mounting tensions have been reflected in increased military activities. China, last month, carried out joint assault drills near Taiwan and has been repeatedly accused of threatening the island nation by flying its fighter jets towards it.

In response, Taiwan has also grown its military capabilities by investing more to bolster its defence and purchasing weapons from the US. Before its indigenous fighter jet, Taiwan produced its first homemade submarine, as well as warships.

In August, the US approved an arms sale to Taiwan, first under the Biden administration, as part of a $750 million deal.

China has continually objected to the US involvement in the matter.

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