China announced on Thursday that the country’s armed forced will begin three days of live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait starting Friday—the same day that Taiwan concludes its own defence drills.

Live-fire drills kicked off in Taiwan on Monday as part of the annual Han Kuang military exercises.

The exercises, inspected by president Ma Ying-jeou, are intended to see the army, navy and air force test their joint operations in the event of an invasion.

On outlying Kinmen island, just two kilometres from the shores of mainland China, artillery and mortar units were deployed to fend off “opposing forces” and protect supply ships, while amphibious forces worked at repelling Chinese submarines.

On Thursday morning, the Maritime Safety Administration of the People’s Republic of China gave coordinates on its website for live-fire drills due to take place off the port city of Quanzhou, Fujian province. The drills will last from Friday until Sunday. However, no other details were provided in the brief statement.

Position of Chinese artillery drills. Photo: Sina.
Position of Chinese artillery drills. Photo: Netease.
Position of Chinese artillery drills. Photo: Sina.

Top comments on popular news aggregation app Headline News asked, “Whoever supports using violence to solve the Taiwan problem, raise your hand,” and “Raise your hand if you support going to war.”

In July, China’s army conducted military exercises that included storming a replica of Taiwan’s presidential office.

The Ministry of National Defence later dismissed the resemblance to the Taiwanese capital, insisting that the drill was a routine and had no “specific target.”

Ryan Ho Kilpatrick

Ryan Ho Kilpatrick is an award-winning journalist and scholar from Hong Kong who has reported on the city’s politics, protests, and policing for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, TIME, The Guardian, The Independent, and others