Video: Taiwan War Drills Prepares for Chinese Attack
Taiwan carries out military drills every year, but this was the first time in five years that live ammunition is being used.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, often viewed as sympathetic towards Beijing, had these harsh words for its neighbor across the Taiwan Strait.
[Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou]:
"In recent years, due to China's economic boom, it has built its military and arms. Thus, facing such a threat, we must strengthen and build our army's moral and be prepared for war in order to maintain the peace across the strait. In fact, what really matters is not the size of this outside threat, nor if we cannot receive military aid from other countries, but that it is within our power to effectively defend ourselves."
Most countries have limited if any official diplomatic contact with Taiwan. That’s usually a prerequisite the Chinese regime imposes on any country they interact with. It became another point of contention between Japan and China last month. Japan invited a Taiwanese delegate to sit with diplomatic representatives at the two-year anniversary of the March 11 Tsunami.
The United States however has provided Taiwan with military hardware for years. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province and has vowed to retake the island, using force if necessary.
As Taiwan’s carries out its live fire drill, China’s People’s Liberation Army conducted what have become routine patrols off the Diaoyu Islands. China, Japan, and Taiwan all claim the islands as part of their territory, but they are closest to Taiwan.