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Taiwan to cut frequency of military exercise

Taiwan to cut frequency of military exercise

A Taiwanese general said Tuesday that the island is cutting the frequency of a major military exercise, but denied the move is connected to improving ties with China.
The statement by Maj. Gen. Huang Kun-tsung comes amid a monthslong effort by President Ma Ying-jeou to reverse his predecessor's pro-independence, anti-China stand and forge closer relations with Beijing.
Speaking to reporters, Huang said rather than every year, the "Han Kuang" or "Chinese Glory" live-fire exercise will now be held every 24 months. Han Kuang features land, sea and aerial maneuvers keyed to a possible Chinese invasion.
"The readiness of Taiwan's military is not being relaxed even though we are seeing less tension in the Taiwan Strait," Huang said, referring to the 100-mile- (160-kilometer-) wide body of water between Taiwan and China. "We are adjusting the frequency of the exercise to improve the military's capabilities."
Maj. Gen. Li Yueh-chang, the officer in charge of operations and planning, said the longer Han Kuang interval will also allow military personnel more time to study lessons gleaned from previous exercises.
Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. Beijing continues to claim the island as part of its territory, and threatens to attack if Taiwan moves to make the break permanent.
Since Ma came into office last May, he has beefed up trade relations with China and said he favors confidence-building measures between the Taiwanese and mainland militaries.
Last month Taiwan's military affirmed that it will slash the size of the island's armed forces, partially because of improving relations with China.
"(This) is part of the defense forces' restructuring, taking into consideration the new type of warfare, mainland relations and other external factors," defense ministry spokeswoman Lisa Chi said at the time.


Updated : 2021-10-26 05:24 GMT+08:00