War games: Taiwan military release army drill pictures as China tensions SKYROCKET

06-Dec-2018 Intellasia | Daily Star | 6:00 AM Print This Post

TAIWAN’S military has released its calendar for 2019 as relations with its largest neighbour China continue to worsen.

Titled Around the Clock: Defending our Country, the calendar was designed by four-time Grammy Award nominee Xiao Qing-yang, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The aim of the calendar is to encourage Taiwanese people to show greater support for those serving in the military, the MND said.

It features 37 photos, including one by the Military News Agency’s photographer Chen Jiun-jiun which won silver prize in August at a prestigious photography prize in Paris.

On the Way, the award-winning photo, shows four Taiwanese special forces soldiers marching late at night.

The MND first released a calendar in 2015, but this year’s edition is the first to include English-language captions, the statement said.

Around 5,000 of the calendars will be distributed to military units across Taiwan and will be given away at future MND events.

It comes as Taiwan’s military is on high alert, as tensions rise with China, which still claims ownership of the island.

On Monday, the MND claimed Beijing has stepped up its naval patrols in the Taiwan Strait this year, as the country’s media said “irregular” movements by Chinese warships were becoming “routine”.

A Taiwanese military source told Chinese media the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) used to hold patrols close to the mainland, but in recent years had moved closer to the middle of the strait.

“Each time the US sent warships through the Taiwan Strait, the PLA has also dispatched its fleets to track the US’s movements,” the source said.

Military analysts say China’s step up in naval drills is a pushback at patrols by US warships.

Since July, the US has sent three batches of warships past Taiwan in “freedom of navigation” exercises in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, where Beijing is building on disputed islands.

China has cut off official ties with Taipei since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in Taiwan in 2016.

The island nation’s new leader refused to accept the so-called “One-China policy”, which states there is only one country called China.

Modern Taiwan was set up in 1949 by the former Nationalist government of China after the end of the Chinese civil war which saw the communists take power under Chair Mao.

Even to this day, many in Taiwan still see it as the only legitimate Chinese government, and its official name remains the Republic of China.



Category: Taiwan

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