By Erik Crouch
Image via Gunnsteinlye
Tensions in the East China Sea have tapered off in the past few months (see: attention hogging North Korea threatening to nuke everything) and the Diaoyu islands crisis was nearly usurped by the coming nuclear apocalypse and/or flumageddon. To remind everyone that the islands spat is still ongoing, Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou has commenced massive live-ammunition wargames on Penghu island, located in the middle of the Taiwan strait. The drill comes one day after Beijing released its annual defense report, and was accompanied by a Diaoyu-centric press conference.
South China Morning Post reports:
In an hour-long videoconference yesterday with US academics, Ma called for the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes, including that surrounding the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, which are claimed by Beijing, Tokyo and Taipei. […]
Taiwan’s defence ministry noted that the resumption of the live-fire drill was a response to opinions voiced by various groups in society, including the local media and lawmakers, who have accused the military of neglecting national defence.
The live-fire drill, which involves 7,682 servicemen, is aimed at testing the military’s ability to counter possible amphibious landings by People’s Liberation Army troops, according to Taiwan’s military.
Taiwan’s military exercises will last for five days, and will include an in-person visit by president Ma. Take that, lessening regional tensions!