The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a military exercise on January 11, the day of the Taiwanese presidential election. Shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen’s re-election victory, the Chinese state media warned that Beijing could take military action to reunite Taiwan with the mainland.
The military exercise was conducted by the 73rd Group Army, one of the three active group armies of the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command. Based in Xiamen, Fujian province, a coastal town across the street from Taiwan, it is believed to be China’s main force to attack Taiwan if Beijing ever declares war on the self-governing island.
The Chinese regime claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has not relinquished the use of force to bring it under its control. Taiwan, formerly known as the “Republic of China”, has its own democratically elected government, military, and currency.
The Eastern Theater Command published a statement on January 11, 2010, about the exercise on Chinese social media WeChat, which reads “An exercise is nothing more than a real battle, soldiers are immediately surrounded by the smoke of war.” Started.
The military exercise followed the strictest and most demanding standards, the statement said. Photos of CAIC Z-10 attack helicopters and a Mi-17 medium helicopter showed the military strength of the PLA.
Photos taken during the exercise revealed that the 73rd Group’s Army Aviation Unit, Type 052D and 052C Destroyer, used two Type 075 landing helicopter docks and a variety of military helicopters, including the CAIC Z-10 attack helicopter and the Harbin Z -20. Tank and artillery brigades also acted as support units in the drill.
According to the post, the main purpose of the exercise was “to reject those who are committed to Taiwan’s independence” and “to prevent foreign forces from interfering in China-Taiwan affairs”.
Chinese state media also reported on the exercise, pointing out that “the exercise date is worth considering,” possibly indicating that the exercise may threaten Taiwanese citizens not to vote for an anti-Communist candidate.
On the same day, the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command Navy, also known as the East Sea Fleet, announced that a destroyer division would conduct actual combat training for five days and four nights on the ocean. The 052D and 052C destroyers would participate, and there would be live firefighting, air defense and missile defense exercises.
Warning after the election
Shortly after the re-election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the Chinese state media warned of military measures to reunite Taiwan with the mainland.
Hu Jinxi, editor of one of the Hawk-language Chinese publications Global Times, published a comment on January 12, one day after Taiwan’s election, pointing out that the use of military force in Taiwan is now high on China’s agenda.
“Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland using military force is not a big deal given the difference between the mainland armed forces and Taiwan. It will be easier than liberating the PLA from Beijing 70 years ago, ”said Hu.
He pointed out the real challenge that China must prepare for, be it military intervention or the economic sanctions of the United States.
“Strategically, we need absolute certainty in two ways. First, we need to be able to inflict an unbearable loss on the U.S. Army if it wants to intervene. We also need to make sure that the United States does not dare to initiate large-scale retaliation against China and does not dare to threaten China with a nuclear war, “Hu wrote.
Second, China must outperform the United States so that the United States is unable to sanction China or unite Western forces to impose extensive sanctions on China. In other words, if China uses military force to unite with Taiwan (we want to make sure of it), our military action will not create serious economic uncertainties for our country. “