What if China invaded Taiwan? The small island is answering that question by launching its own virtual military drill on Monday set in the year 2017.
The five-day drill is only one of the many measures Taiwan is undertaking as part of its biggest yearly military activity. This year, the operation goes under the name “Han Kuang 29,” meaning Han Chinese Glory 29.
During the drill, first mainland China launches a surprise attack against Taiwan, and then an extensive invasion, Taiwanese defense ministry officials said on Monday.
Although the ministry didn’t explain why 2017 was chosen as the stage year, experts believe the date to be plausible, considering China’s heated squabbles over disputed territories with other east Asian countries including Japan, Korea and Taiwan and gradual advances in military technology.
Kevin Cheng, editor-in-chief of Asia-Pacific Defense Magazine, a military publication, said to AFP, “Looking ahead, we can expect China to put into service—to name just a few—its first carrier battle group, stealth planes and Type 081 amphibious assault ships.”
With the new weapons, China would be able to land on the island with significantly more ease, according to Cheng. And China’s 1,500 plus accuracy-enhanced missiles aimed at Taiwan pose another threat.
China and Taiwan have been at odds since 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party took over the mainland and the Nationalist Party escaped to the island. The CCP refuses to acknowledge Taiwan’s sovereignty and Taiwan refuses to integrate into the mainland.
Taiwan has maintained sufficient military deterrence so far, by having superior gadgets and equipment, but analysts say that the Chinese military is continually working to gain a position of absolute dominance.