Taiwan extends annual military exercise to record length of eight days

Published (HKT): 2021.04.20 06:55

Taiwan’s annual military exercise will be extended to a record length of eight days and seven nights, to heighten the benefits from the training, the island’s defense chief said on Monday.

Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng decided to extend the Han Kuang Exercise before he took office in February, he told a panel meeting of the Taiwanese legislature.

Past exercises took between five and seven days depending on the circumstances and issues involved. A review of past exercises found they were too rushed to allow full discussions and analysis, Chiu said.

The Taiwanese military plans a computerized exercise April 23-30 and a live-fire exercise July 12-16. Eight thousand reserve soldiers will be deployed, formed into teams involved in exercises such as urban and shore warfare, as well as shooting training.

The exercise will provide training on the transition between normal and wartime deployment, command mechanisms, the preservation of capability, aerial and naval warfare, takeoff and landing of fighter jets, and anti-landing operations.

Chiu said the military is prepared to defend the self-ruling island as long as necessary. Former defense minister Feng Shih-kuan has said Taiwan could hold out for more than two weeks against an invasion from mainland China.

The U.S. military has not been invited to observe the exercise, for the second year in a row, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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