Taiwan’s navy held a major live-fire exercise Wednesday off the island’s east coast in an area increasingly threatened by Chinese ships and planes.
The drills are part of annual Han Kuang exercises that simulate an attack by China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.
Navy craft fired cannons and missiles and released depth charges, while fighter jets launched munitions and anti-submarine warfare aircraft released buoys.
Submarines, along with a vast array of ballistic missiles, are considered among China’s most potent weapons against Taiwan, which split from the mainland during a civil war in 1949.
China has boosted its military threat against Taiwan, with President Xi Jinping saying this year that Beijing would not rule out using force. That comes on top of growing Chinese pressure to isolate Taiwan in the international community and inflict economic pain, largely to force independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen to agree to Beijing’s contention that Taiwan is a part of China.