July 12, 2011

Taiwan Launching Computerized War-Games To Test Capabilities

Taiwan said Tuesday that it would conduct computerized war-games next week to test its capabilities against China's forces.

The exercises are part of the island's biggest annual military drill codenamed "Han Kuang 27" (Han Glory 27).

"The mainland's first aircraft carrier will become operational next year... marking a change of possible warfare in the region," Major General Hau I-chih told reporters.

According to a report by the Hong Kong newspaper, Chen Beingde, the chief of the General Staff of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), confirmed the ship's existence.

Beingde said the 990-foot former Soviet carrier was being overhauled.  The ship is currently based in the northeast port of Dalian.

Experts said that an aircraft group would potentially double the military threat posed to Taiwan by China by allowing the Chinese to approach from different directions.

"Given the Chinese communists' fast expanding military might, the defense ministry has centered on asymmetric warfare during the previous exercises," Hau said in a statement.

"In next week's maneuvers, the ministry will mainly center on the navy's asymmetric combat capability in the face of the Chinese communists' overwhelming superiority," he said, declining to provide details.

He said the ministry will also evaluate Taiwan's defense capabilities in the event of a surprise attack by its giant neighbor.