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Taipei reserves to practice resisting China

For the first time, Taiwan’s annual military exercises will focus on how best to defend the island democracy from rival China’s “unrestricted warfare” tactics, the Taipei Times reports today.

The military’s reserve command said yesterday it will add anti-terror operations to this year’s Wangan No. 26 anti-air-raid exercise as part of an effort to beef up infrastructure defenses.

The military made the announcement at the Feitsui Reservoir, the main source of water for metropolitan Taipei, to underscore the relevance of protecting infrastructure assets.

The Wangan exercises are island-wide and held annually between May and June to increase the readiness of the military. The exercise is usually held by the reserve command, the paper said.

In years past, the focus was on air defense, but recently the military has begun to shift its focus to include all relevant defenses, including anti-terrorism.

“Last July, we activated 32 civil-defense groups across the island to handle the task. They are to watch out for any suspicious people who show up in the vicinity of places such as reservoirs,” said Adm. Chen Ban-chih, chief of reserve command.

“These groups have to figure out how to prevent the water of the Feitsui Reservoir, for instance, from being poisoned by the enemy,” he said. “They will also safeguard major electrical transmission towers around the island. These towers are very likely to become targets for attack by the enemy.”

Last year’s Wangan No. 25 exercise included a primitive level of anti-terror operations. That exercise tested the military’s response to attacks on Taipei by an enemy that used the city’s underground tunnels to infiltrate the city.

In warfighting strategy publications in the late 1990s, Chinese military commanders said they would resort to “unrestricted warfare” to cripple and defeat an enemy. Such planning included “asymmetric” tactics like attacking an enemy’s computer, civil service and economic infrastructure, and disabling or destroying communication and surveillance satellites.

The global threat of terrorism is also a concern, as some nations and groups adopt unconventional military tactics to offset their inferiority in manpower, industry and military technology.

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