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Taiwan planes to use road as a runway in war games


Members of Taiwan's army during a military exercise.

TAIPEI (AFP): Taiwan said on Wednesday that fighter jets will use one of the island's main highways as a runway in a drill next month simulating the aftermath of a Chinese attack that has wiped out its airbases.

Nine aircraft, including F-16s and Mirage 2000 fighter jets, will use a strip of highway in the southern county of Tainan during the manoeuvre, which is set for April 12, the defence ministry said.

It is the third such exercise carried out by Taiwan's military following two others in 2004 and 2007, and for the first time, the army will participate with AH-1W attack helicopters, said ministry spokesman David Lo.

The drill will simulate a scenario where jets and other aircraft have to use civilian highways after air force bases are damaged or destroyed during missile attacks, he said.

Taiwan regularly stages war games simulating possible attacks by China, which still claims the island as part of its territory and refuses to renounce the use of force to take it back.

Taiwanese experts estimate China currently has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island and has recently deployed a new type of ballistic missile despite improving ties.

Taiwan has ruled itself since the end of a civil war in 1949. Tensions between the two former arch-rivals have eased markedly in recent years under the island's Beijing-friendly government.

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Taiwan  Army  War games  

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