Taiwan holds military drills against potential China threat


Taiwan holds military drills against potential China threat
Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) launches flares during the 36th Han Kung military exercises in Taichung City, central Taiwan, Thursday, July 16, 2020. Taiwan's military fired missiles from the air and the island's shore facing China on Thursday in a live-fire exercise to demonstrate its ability to defend against any Chinese invasion. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's military fired missiles from the air and the island's shore facing China on Thursday in a live-fire drill to demonstrate its ability to defend against any Chinese invasion.

One helicopter crashed when returning to base from another drill, killing the pilot and co-pilot, the army said. The cause of the crash was under investigation. The drills were part of a five-day annual exercise that ends Friday.

Assault helicopters launched missiles and fighter jets dropped bombs on targets at sea, while tanks and missile trucks fired from a beach to deter a simulated invading force.

“We want the world to see our determination and efforts to protect our country.” President Tsai Ing-wen said, observing the exercise in a helmet and camouflage military fatigues.

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that is part of its territory. The self-governing island of 24 million people lies 160 kilometers (100 miles) off China's southeast coast across the Taiwan Strait.

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