China conducts ‘Taiwan invasion’ military drills amid rise in tensions

Beijing: Amid rising tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea, China has released videos showing military drills that appeared to simulate a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. 

The drills showcased the Type 075, a 40,000-tonne amphibious warship that is understood to carry up to 30 helicopters and nearly 1,000 personnel, reported.

It was not clear where or when the drill was conducted. The videos were released in response to joint military drills carried out by the US, Japan, Australia and France. 

Chinese military expert Song Zhongping said the PLA was targeting its combat training to prepare for a possible war over Taiwan. 

A Chinese military official told the state-run Global Times: “Many on the island of Taiwan and foreign countries for a long time believe the Chinese mainland does not possess what it takes to organize a proper large-scale, joint amphibious landing operation on the island due to this kind of mission’s high complexity.”

“Exercises like this one and daily routine warplane drills near the island, could serve as a deterrent and give secessionist and foreign forces a clear look at the real situation that the PLA is fully determined and capable of safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the official added.

He warned that China could carry out “many more amphibious landing tactics, including the involvement of missile, artillery and aviation forces if secessionists insist on provoking Beijing”.

Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes.

Over the past few months, Taiwan has reported incursion by Chinese warplanes into ADIZ almost daily.

Last month, Taiwanese premier Su Tseng-chang termed the incursion by Chinese warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADZ) as “unnecessary” and “thoughtless”.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.