Taiwan holds live-fire exercises following China threats

In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, file photo, M110A2 self-propelled howitzers fire during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan. Taiwan’s mi

In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, file photo, M110A2 self-propelled howitzers fire during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan. Taiwan’s mi

A rocket is fired from a Thunderbolt 2000 multi-rocket launcher during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiw

A rocket is fired from a Thunderbolt 2000 multi-rocket launcher during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiw

Taiwan's AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter fires during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has c

Taiwan's AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter fires during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has c

Taiwan's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fires during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has

Taiwan's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fires during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has

M60A3 Patton tanks move during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has conducted a live-fire

M60A3 Patton tanks move during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has conducted a live-fire

A Taiwanese soldier watches from an M60A3 Patton tank during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s milit

A Taiwanese soldier watches from an M60A3 Patton tank during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s milit

A Taiwanese soldier takes a position during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has conducted

A Taiwanese soldier takes a position during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has conducted

M60A3 Patton tanks move during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has conducted a live-fire

M60A3 Patton tanks move during a military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Taiwan’s military has conducted a live-fire

HSINCHU, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan is holding live-fire military exercises following extended threats against the island by China.

Artillery and assault helicopters fired at targets off the west coast city of Taichung on Thursday, while Mirage fighter jets took off amid rainy conditions from the air base at Hsinchu to the north.

The drills are Taiwan's first since Chinese President Xi Jinping on Jan. 2 reasserted Beijing's willingness to use military force to bring self-ruling Taiwan under Chinese control.

The drills also follow a new Pentagon report laying out U.S. concerns about China's growing military might, underscoring worries about a possible attack against Taiwan.

Taiwan's independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen has made national defense a priority and has refused China's demand that she recognize Taiwan as a part of China.