In this image taken from video, Taiwanese Air Force F-16V fighter jets taxi along a runway during a drill in Chiayi in southwestern Taiwan, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Taiwan’s Air Force pilots drilled on Wednesday to simulate an interception of Chinese aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. (AP Photo)InternationalIndiaAfricaBEIJING (Sputnik) – Taiwan has launched its annual warfare drill with the participation of the air and naval forces, Taiwanese news agency said on Monday. The military said that the air forces have dispatched F-16V, Mirage-2000 5 and domestically-made IDF fighters, as well as P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft, which, together with the navy’s S-70C anti-submarine helicopters and drones, will take part in the exercise, the report said. The drills are scheduled to last through Thursday, CNA added. The situation around Taiwan escalated drastically in August, 2022 after Nancy Pelosi, then the US House of Representatives Speaker, visited the island. China, which considers Taiwan as one of it’s provinces, denounced the visit as a potential sign of support to the Taiwanese separatism by the US, and afterwards launched a large-scale military drill in the vicinity of the island. Since then, Chinese aircraft and military vessels have been routinely entering Taiwan’s defense zone. Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.