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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Taiwan’s armed forces hold coastal exercises

By AFP
June 11, 2023

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan: Patrol boats circled and officers descended by rope from a helicopter during a staged hostage crisis in the southern city of Kaohsiung, as Taiwan’ armed forces held drills on Saturday.

The island holds frequent military drills in the face of increasing military and political pressures from China, including near-daily Chinese warplane incursions into its air defence zone.

Beijing claims self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to retake it one day -- by force if necessary.

At Kaohsiung port on Saturday, the coastguard, military, police and airborne services simulated a hostage situation, accompanied by action-movie music and an ongoing narration of the “attack”.

“This is (Taiwan) Coast Guard! Stop the engine immediately!” shouted the announcer. “We are going to board and inspect your ship!”

Smaller patrol boats surrounded the ship while a helicopter hovered overhead.

The officers managed to “covertly” board the ship, and they opened fire -- not live rounds -- on the yellow-clad hostage takers. At the end of the rehearsal, officers saluted President Tsai Ing-wen, who waved from the pier.