Taiwan Begins Massive Drills Simulating Chinese Attack

Sputnik News – January 17, 2017

In what may be a response to a recent show of force by the transit of the Chinese aircraft carrier through the Strait of Taiwan, Taipei initiated defense preparation exercises over the weekend while vowing to “enhance training 365 days a year.”

Taipei simulated a scenario in which China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Lioaning, crossed the dividing line of the Taiwan Strait in a simulated attack on the island, home to some 23 million people. China does not acknowledge Taiwan as a sovereign nation, claiming instead that the island country belongs under the principle of “One China” and, as such, is merely a Chinese province. Beijing has indicated that upholding this principle is non-negotiable, and would resort to force should Taipei be acknowledged as independent.

Following a victorious election, Donald Trump took a call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. This event shook diplomatic circles who pointed out that Trump may not have known that he broke with decades of diplomatic practice in which Washington has not formally addressed Taiwanese leaders.

Earlier in January, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen stopped in Houston, Texas, to meet US Senator Ted Cruz and the state’s Governor Greg Abbott. Returning to Taiwan, Ing-wen made a stop in San Francisco as well.