Taiwan News Encyclopedia: Han Kuang Exercises

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2017-02-18

The Han Kuang military exercise was first held in June 1984 in the off-shore Penghu islands in the Taiwan Strait. The drills simulated an attack by China’s People Liberation Army. The two Chinese characters — Han Kuang — are a code used by the armed forces and the figure following the code is simply a serial number. The first drill was Hang Kuang 1.

The exercise, aimed at testing Taiwan’s defensive capabilities, is held every year. It lasts from a few days to a few weeks with different military districts taking turns to run drills in their respective areas. Since the mid-1980s, the drill has become a large-scale, high-level, joint military exercise covering various tactics and involving a great number of personnel.

After martial law was lifted in 1987, the Han Kuang Exercises were no longer a military secret. They have since been widely covered by the local media. From 1994 to 2007, three accidents occurred during the annual drills, with a total of eight fatalities.

The government is planning to roll out a new military doctrine in March. President Tsai Ing-wen has ordered the armed forces to put a greater emphasis on “effective deterrence.” It remains to be seen how the new doctrine might affect military drills in the future.    [SOURCE]

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