Taiwan prepares for Chinese invasion with virtual ‘tabletop’ military drills

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The highly classified annual “Han Kuang” drills aim to prepare the democratically-ruled island nation for all manner of attack including from air, sea, land and cyber. The so-called “tabletop drills” officially began on Friday and will cover around 37 different simulations.

Speaking on the war games drill earlier this month, Major General Liu Yu-Ping said: “The drills are designed based on the toughest enemy threats, simulating all possible scenarios on an enemy invasion on Taiwan.”

In a statement, Ministry of National Defence said Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng and Chief of the General Staff Admiral Huang Shu-kuang will be overseeing the process at a command centre.

The Han Kuang drills are the nation’s largest annual war games and involve all branches of the armed forces.

The games this year will involve around 300 military personnel because of Covid prevention protocols and will take place in two stages – tabletop dills and live-fire drills.

The tabletop drills will last for eight days, which according to military officials is the longest in the history of the annual war games since they began in 1984.

The live-fire stage of the drills will take place later this year and is currently scheduled for July 12 to 16 according to the Defence Ministry.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan business council doubted the likelihood of an impending “D-Day-style” invasion.

He said: “My own view of what’s going on right now is that Chinese operations around the island are primarily focused on psychological operations.”

The drills come at a time of heightened tensions between China and Taiwan as People’s Liberation Army (PLA) warplanes enter Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on a near daily basis.

Since the start of the month, there have been 18 separate incursions of Taiwan’s ADIZ with the largest group consisting of 25 warplanes on April 12.

The US military has also been part of the war games since 2003, sending delegations to oversee the proceedings.

However, Major General Liu said the US military were not invited to this year’s games due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, although they did invite officials from the American Institute in Taiwan.

China has around 100 times as many ground forces as Taiwan and a military budget 25 times as large according to the latest Pentagon data.

Speaking to Chinese state-run media Global Times earlier this month, Song Zhongping a military expert, said that in the event of an invasion: “The island’s military won’t stand a chance.”


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