Taiwan carried out a military drill in defiance of Beijing, attended by Taiwanese president and her Paraguayan counterpart on Tuesday, a day ahead of its National Day celebrations.

Iran Press/Asia: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has hosted her Paraguayan counterpart, Mario Abdo Benitez, at a military exercise in a sign of the island’s determination to withstand China’s diplomatic onslaught.

The land and air training exercise in Taoyuan in northern parts of the country, on Tuesday 9 October 2018, simulated an attempt by Chinese forces to attack a Taiwanese air base.

Related news: Taiwan holds large-scale military drills

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has been whittling away at the self-governing island’s pool of diplomatic allies, leaving it now with just 17, including Paraguay.

Defense Ministry spokesman Chen Chong-chi said inviting Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez to view the exercise alongside Tsai would “help strengthen the friendship between the two countries” and boost future civilian and military exchanges, AP reported.

Taiwan and China separated amid civil war in 1949. Beijing has vowed to bring the island under its control by force if deemed necessary.

Taiwan is equipped with mostly US-made weaponry and wants Washington to sell it more advanced equipment, including new fighter jets.

Military experts say the balance of power between Taiwan and China has shifted in favor of China, which could probably overwhelm the island unless US forces came quickly to its aid.

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