Taiwan starts military exercises days after Chinese aircraft carrier sails by

F-16 fighter jets simulate enemy aircraft during military drill

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Taiwanese F-16.

Taiwanese F-16. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The military launched a new series of exercises on Tuesday (Nov. 19), just two days after China sent its first domestically built aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait.

The north-to-south passage of the Type 002 carrier was widely seen as another attempt by the communist regime to influence the island's January 11 presidential and legislative elections.

The drills, named “Lien Hsiang” (聯翔), were directed against a hypothetical air attack and involved F-16 fighter jets from a base in Hualien County pretending to be enemy aircraft, the Ministry of National Defense said.

Army, Navy, Air Force, and missile units would cooperate in testing their joint response to the simulated attack, according to a report by CNA.

Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴), who hails from the Air Force, represented President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the special command center to oversee developments in Tuesday’s military drills, according to CNA.