Taiwan holds live-fire drill after China ends military exercises

53
1
Taiwan holds live-fire drill after China ends military exercises

TAIPEI: Taiwan's army held a live-fire drill on Thursday after Beijing ended its largest military exercises around the island, as it threatened to bring the self-ruled democracy under its control.

China has raged at a trip to Taiwan last week by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- the highest-ranking elected American official to visit in decades -- staging days of air and sea drills around the island that have raised tensions to their highest level in years.

Taiwan accused China of using the Pelosi visit as an excuse to kickstart drills that would allow it to prepare for an invasion.

Lou Woei-jye, a spokesman for Taiwan's Eighth Army Corps, told AFP its forces fired howitzers and target flares as part of the defensive drill on Thursday morning.

The exercise in Taiwan's southernmost county of Pingtung began at 8.30 am and lasted about an hour, he said.

The artillery tucked in from the coast was lined up side by side, with armed soldiers firing the howitzers out of the water one after the other, a livestream showed.