In a bid to ensure a befitting reply to China’s war games, Taiwan conducted a war exercise showing off the latest F-16 fighters in the night sky.
It was a show of force in front of the media, demonstrating the military’s skills to defend the democratically governed island.
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has been carrying out military exercises around the island after a visit earlier this month by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was followed by five US lawmakers on Sunday and Monday.
On a government-sponsored visit to the key Hualien air base on Taiwan’s mountainous east coast, the first to a military facility since the Chinese exercises began, reporters watched the ground crew demonstrate how they rapidly upload weapons onto F-16s, including Boeing Co’s Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY
Speaking on the capabilities of the Taiwan forces and Taiwan’s air exercises, Vice-Admiral Shekhar Sinha (Retd), who has decades of experience as a combat naval aviator, said, “Taiwan may not have a large number of aircraft, but they have the latest version of F-16 and they are going to acquire more as the Biden government in the US has allowed more sale.”
He said their army, too, has fighter helicopters (Apache) in large numbers and their accuracy during combat was great.
He said the Taiwanese navy made their own armed corvettes and they had submarines and surface-to-surface missiles too.