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Taiwan conducts live-fire drill on Penghu

Troops launch counteroffensive exercise to protect Penghu shore

M60 tanks fire during military drill on Penghu island. (Military News Agency photo)

M60 tanks fire during military drill on Penghu island. (Military News Agency photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Penghu Defense Command conducted a coastal live-fire exercise early Thursday morning (May 25) to test its defense capabilities.

The exercise kicked off with the firing of illuminating rounds from 120mm mortars, followed by machine guns engaging in anti-aircraft fire, Military News Agency reported. Multiple M60A3 tanks then rushed out onto the beach and fired shells.

Troops later launched a counteroffensive exercise to defend the shore.

Major General Liu, commander of the Penghu Defense Command, said due to rising tensions in the region, soldiers stationed on the island remain vigilant at all times and carry out various combat readiness training exercises. This allows them to understand their operational tasks, familiarize themselves with battlefield conditions, and enhance their countermeasures, he said.

Troops in the defense zone adhere to the principle of "everywhere is a battlefield” and train constantly, Liu said. The idea of “not yielding an inch of territory" is ingrained in their minds and they are committed to defending the surrounding waters and people of the island, he added.

On Wednesday (May 24), Taiwan kicked off a two-day anti-landing drill along the Yilan coast, simulating a potential Chinese invasion. Experts identified a small number of beaches around Taiwan as “red beaches” where an invasion by Chinese forces would be easier.

The list includes three beaches near the townships of Toucheng, Wujie, and Zhuangyuan.

In response to increasing Chinese military activities near Taiwan, the defense ministry has ramped up drills to enhance combat readiness. There are concerns that Beijing may launch an attack on the nation in 2027, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

Taiwan is also urging speedier delivery of weapons it has already purchased from the U.S. There is currently a US$19 billion (NT$585.5 billion) backlog of arms.