Taiwan releases video of fierce live-fire drill as tensions with China rise

Video shows spectacular display of firepower off Taiwan's Matsu Island

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Nightime live-fire drill. (Twitter, Taiwan Today screenshot)

Nightime live-fire drill. (Twitter, Taiwan Today screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As tensions with China continue to ratchet up, Taiwan's military on Wednesday (June 3) released footage of machine guns blazing during a night exercise off the coast of Matsu Island.

Taiwan Today, which is run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), on Wednesday posted to its Twitter feed stunning footage of glowing tracer fire from anti-aircraft guns as part of a live-fire exercise. According to the post, the drill was staged by the Matsu Defense Command (MDC) at Renai Village in Nangan Township, also known as Matsu Island.

The island is part of a cluster of tiny islands that comprise Lienchiang County and are situated only 19 kilometers off the coast of communist China's Fujian province. In a clear signal to Beijing, the tweet emphasized that the drill showed that the "fighting men & women" of the defense forces in Matsu are "highly trained & combat-ready."

The post then closed by defiantly declaring "Make no mistake: Taiwan is an island of resilience." The tweet was likely a signal that the country is ready to fend off any aggression by China amid the passage of the new draconian security law for Hong Kong and the fact that it removed the usage of the term "peaceful unification" from its annual work report released during the National People's Congress (NPC).

It is also likely in response to a planned simulated invasion of one of Taiwan's outer islands which China will stage off the coast of Hainan in August. The drill will reportedly include both of China's aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and Shandong.

Based on previous live-fire drills on the island, the guns were likely Browning .50 caliber machine guns mounted on domestically-manufactured CM-21 Armored Vehicles.