Taiwan says China’s Army has not conducted major drills for 2 months amid coronavirus fears

Chinese Navy and Air Force still operating normally despite coronavirus pandemic

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The Chinese army training in Russia in 2018 

The Chinese army training in Russia in 2018  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) land forces have not held any major exercises for two months due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday (March 25).

However, China’s Navy and Air Force are operating normally despite the virus fears, CNA reported. Earlier, Taiwan announced the postponement of its Han Kuang 36 drills as well as visits by military delegations from the United States and Singapore.

The Chinese military is still conducting maneuvers on land, but their scale is limited, while Navy vessels and Air Force jets still take part in drills as usual, the ministry said. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese warplanes have still approached Taiwan, provoking the scrambling of the island’s jets to chase them away.

Ministry officials speaking at the Legislative Yuan Wednesday denied reports that the coronavirus forced China’s nuclear submarines to stay in port. The information Taiwan collected about recent military moves on the other side of the Taiwan Strait corresponds largely with statements by China, CNA reported.