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Taiwan to look into Ukraine's experience for defense drills against China

Taiwan to look into Ukraine's experience for defense drills against China Taiwan to consider Ukraine's experience for defense drills against China (Getty Images)

At this year's annual military drills, Taiwan will practice "kill zones" at sea to break through a blockade and simulate a scenario where China suddenly turns one of its regular exercises around the island into a real attack, reports Reuters.

China, which considers democratically governed Taiwan its territory, has been conducting regular exercises around the island for the past four years to pressure Taipei.

"Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine two years ago, Taiwan has been looking to see what lessons it can learn and integrate into its own exercises, especially how the much smaller Ukrainian forces have been able to fend off the larger Russian military," the media says.

Tung Chih-hsing, head of the Ministry of Defense's joint combat planning department, said "those would again feature this year, along with the lessons learned from the war in Gaza."

Taiwan's drills

Taiwan begins its major annual Han Kuang exercises this month with tabletop exercises, extended from the usual five days to eight, considering the number of scenarios that will be included, with real combat exercises in July.

Tung said at a briefing that the exercises would focus on how to respond fast to one of China's exercises that suddenly escalates into an attack, something military planners have begun to worry about as they become regular.

According to Tung, another issue is how different branches of the forces can organize a coordinated response to a Chinese blockade.

The exercises will involve naval forces, aviation, and coastal defense, coastal anti-ship weaponry, and drones to create a maritime "attack and kill chain," he added.

"In addition, (we will) use naval and air forces and coast guard ships to jointly carry out escort operations" to ensure sea and air links to the outside world remain open, Tung said.

China's exercises around the island

China regularly conducts military exercises around Taiwan. During one of the major drills around Taiwan in April of last year, China simulated "precision" strikes and a blockade of the island.

According to Washington, China is expanding its military and nuclear arsenal. These signs indicate that it is prepared to invade Taiwan by 2027.