TAIWAN IS A SPRATLY CLAIMANT AND SO IS MAINLAND CHINA, HOWEVER IN THE CASE OF SOME ISLANDS CLOSER TO TAIWAN THAN THE CHINESE MAINLAND CHINA CLAIMS THE ISLANDS AS PART OF THEIR "PROVINCE" OF TAIWAN.
Taiwan vehemently denies being part of China except when it is to their advantage proving that in the end "all politics is local". Last month Taiwan launched its largest military exercise in the South China Sea since 2000. The exercise was held on the Taiwan-administered island of Taiping, in the Spratlys a chain claimed in whole by China, and in part by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Bruni. On April 10th two companies of Taiwan marines equipped with mortars and anti tank rockets landed on the island from approximately 20 amphibious transports. This was the first time that regular troops set foot on the island since 2000 when occupying marines were replaced by a force of 135 coast guards. In addition to the 20 amphibious transports seven frigates and a tank landing ship also participated in the exercise which was very pointed designed to practice skills and tactics involved in retaking an island captured by an opposing military force. When it was over the island was returned to its normal status as a coast guard garrison of 135 troops but with the edition of a new pier and some permanently deployed long range artillery and mortars. Taiwan would declare that the exercises weren't aimed at any particular nation. We are sure that both China and the Philippines took note.
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