Taiwan stages live-fire military exercises after China threats

M60A3 Patton tanks during military exercises in Taichung, central Taiwan Credit: Chiang Ying-ying/AP

Taiwan's military has displayed a show of force against the Beijing government during a firing exercise on its east coast.

The demonstration is a strategic ploy to show mainland China's leaders that it will not allow Beijing to take control of its territory amid mounting tensions between the two governments.

Taiwanese military have been engaging in drills amid rising tensions with Beijing. Credit: AP

Artillery and assault helicopters fired at targets off the west coast city of Taichung, whilst fighter jets took off from the air base at Hsinchu to the north.

The drills follow intelligence from the US over China's growing military might, with concern growing that Taiwan may become a target.

Taiwan's government has been put under pressure by Beijing to play by its rules. Credit: Chiang Ying-ying/AP

Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping reasserted Beijing's willingness to use military force to bring self-ruling Taiwan under Chinese control. China has previously stated that its military will "pay any price," to ensure its sovereignty over Taiwan, an area it regards as a key part of its territory.

The nation is regarded by Beijing as a province of China which it allows to self-rule, for now at least. China continues to place economic, military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan's government as it demands it recognise itself as a territory belonging to China and not an independent state.