Agents descending from a helicopter using a rope, patrol boats performing tricks: a simulated hostage-taking took place Saturday in Taiwan in the coastal city of Kaohsiung during military maneuvers. Members of the coast guard, army, police and airborne services gathered in the port of the port city in the south of the island, while action film music and narration of the attack resounded.
This is the (Taiwan) Coast Guard! Turn off the engine immediately!" could be heard. "We're going to get on board and inspect your ship!" Patrollers surrounded the boat above which a helicopter was parked. The officers managed to board the boat "surreptitiously" and then opened fire - without using live ammunition - towards the hostage-takers dressed in yellow.
At the end of the simulation, members of the security forces greeted President Tsai Ing-wen who waved at them from a dock. "Everyone who participated in today's exercise is our country's frontline defenders. I want to stress again that we need to strengthen ourselves to ensure peace in the Taiwan Strait," Tsai Ing-wen said in a short speech. "The more united we are, the safer we are. The safer Taiwan is, the safer the world will be.»
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The island frequently holds military maneuvers, amid growing military and political pressure from Beijing, such as air incursions by Communist Chinese fighter jets into its air defense zone, which have become increasingly frequent since Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016. Beijing considers the autonomous democratic island of Taiwan part of its territory, and has promised to retake it one day, by force if necessary. A claim that the Taiwanese president disputes.
In April, communist China held three-day military exercises to simulate a blockade of the island in response to a meeting in California between Tsai Ing-wen and the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy. In August 2022, Beijing conducted four days of live-fire maneuvers around Taiwan's territorial waters. Some exercises took place off Kaohsiung.