Taiwan’s latest military exercise began on Tuesday with a simulated attack on coastal bases by Chinese warplanes hypothetically launched from the Liaoning, currently the only functional aircraft carrier operated by the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
According to the South China Morning Post, the lively exercise employed a Taiwanese combat support ship called Panshi to stand in for the Liaoning.
Asia Times reported the drill specifically simulated air raids and electronic interference targeting Chiashan Air Base and “other key military installations along the island’s east coast.” That would be the coast facing away from mainland China and toward the valuable contested islands of the East China Sea, implying the scenario for the wargame was not an all-out Chinese invasion of Taiwan but an East China Sea conflict.
Chiashan Air Base would be a very tough nut for China to crack.
The South China Morning Post relayed speculation that Tuesday’s drill and several previous exercises over the past week following Taiwan’s National Day commemoration are building up to a major joint drill with the United States, simulating operations in both the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.