Taiwan to stage live-fire drill on disputed island
TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan's coastguard said on Friday that it would stage a live-fire exercise next month in disputed South China Sea islands, a move that could raise regional tensions.
The drill will take place on Taiping Island between April 9 and 11 in the Spratlys, a sprawling group of islands claimed in whole or part by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei.
Among other weaponry, the drill will involve 40mm artillery and 120mm mortars, both shipped to the island last year to boost Taiwan's defence capability in the Spratlys, according to the coastguard.
Taiping is the biggest island in the Spratlys and has long been governed by Taiwan, which maintains a small coastguard garrison there.