Taiwan is believed to have ended its routine military exercises in the southern county of Pingtung on Thursday (August 11), where soldiers were seen for the second time this week, firing artillery to simulate a defence against a Chinese invasion.
According to Reuters, the exercises, which had been planned and announced before the start of the current cross-straits tensions, came a day after China’s military announced it had “completed various tasks,” potentially signaling an end to days of war games. China is still expected to conduct regular patrols.
Several residents who assembled to watch the drills, which are held regularly, said they remained calm despite recent tensions.
“We continue to live our life as we play, eat and go out for fun”, said Shu-hui Huang, who works in the hotel industry. "In fact we don’t have to be afraid, we have our own army with us.”
Hsiao-huang Shu, a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taipei, warned that even the large-scale Chinese operations over the last week may not reveal the full extent of China's military abilities.
"China is trying to conceal their true military capabilities," he told Reuters.
"In their promotional videos, they often leave out important military systems, and mix with in videos from previous time periods, so as to confuse people into not knowing the real military situation."
The Taiwanese government reiterated its long-standing objections to the "one country, two systems" model affirmed by Beijing in a white paper published this week, according to a news conference held by the foreign ministry of the self-ruled island.
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