Taiwan drills simulate repulsing Chinese assault on air base

Taiwan's military is conducting war games simulating the repulsing of a Chinese attack amid heighted tensions across the Taiwan Strait.

The drill Thursday at the sprawling Ching Chuan Kang air force base near the central city of Taichung is part of an annual five-day live-firing exercise.

The war games are intended to display the military's willingness and ability to fight off an invasion from China, which claims the island as its territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary.

Beijing has stepped up its diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan's independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen, sending warplanes to circle the island and an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait.

Shortly before the Han Kuang exercises began, an F-16 crashed into mountains in northern Taiwan, killing the pilot.