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Earlier this week, Taiwanese newspapers published reports that Taiwan’s military would be conducting a massive five-day live-fire war drill starting Monday. As of Thursday, the military exercise is currently underway and is featuring joint operations of its air force, navy, and ground troops in simulating an attack by China.

The Han Kuang war drill has been carried out annually since the mid-1980s, and its function is used to prepare the Taiwanese military for an invasion via Beijing.

Even though the live-fire military drill began with the deadly crash of a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon jet on the first day, the exercise continued across the island as scheduled throughout the week.

Taiwan simulated repulsing an invading force on Thursday at the Ching Chuan Kang air force base near the central city of Taichung. The live-fire field training exercise featured soldiers in red helmets playing the role of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops invading the airbase with helicopters while Taiwanese special forces were deployed with tanks and clashed on the airfield. There were even reports of fighter jets and attack helicopters overhead while paratroopers jumped from Lockheed C-130 Hercules planes.

Military tanks take part in the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan. (Source: Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

Soldiers from Taiwan’s special forces fight with soldiers simulated invasion from rival China during the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan. (Source: Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

Taiwanese Air Force’s F-16 fighters launch flares during the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan. (Source: Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

A military tank advances during the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan. (Source: Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

Military tanks run from smoke during the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan. (Source: Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

Taiwanese airborne soldiers jump off from a C-130 Hercules cargo plane during the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan. (Source: Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

A Taiwan’s AH-1W Cobra Attack Helicopter launches flares during the annual Han Kuang exercises at an air base in Taichung County, Taiwan. (Source: Chiang Ying-ying, AP)

President Tsai Ing-wen arrived at the Jiupeng military base Thursday to watch the air defense missile launches as part of the annual military exercises, reported Taiwan News.

Local reports said the military fired domestic-manufactured missiles, including the Tien Kung I and II, respectively middle- and long-range surface-to-air missiles, which are critical components to the islands missile shields.

The firing of a Tien Kung 1 missile during the Han Kuang military exercise.(Source: Ministry of National Defense/ Central News Agency)

President Tsai also spectated the launch of U.S.-made MIM-104 Patriot missiles and the supersonic anti-ship Hsiung Feng III missiles designed to destroy the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) military vessels.

The firing of a MIM-104 Patriot missile during the Han Kuang military exercise. (Source: Ministry of National Defense/ Central News Agency)

The Central News Agency reported that several other exercises Thursday simulated air assaults by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

President Tsai told reporters, “the solid strength of our national army and I am very confident that our military forces have capabilities to fulfill the task of making effective use of deterrence and defense.”

“The strength of our national army is the guarantee of national security, the foundation of social prosperity, and the staunch backing of the values of democracy and freedom,” Tsai added.

The Han Kuang war drill is designed to show the military’s willingness and ability to thwart an invasion from China, which claims the self-governing island democracy as its own territory, and as of recent, China has launched a series of live-fire exercises off Taiwan’s coast. Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, however, it now seems as the region could be the next geopolitical flashpoint