China’s Hype Video for Mass Taiwan Attack Flexes Missile Forces


China's Eastern Theater Command on Friday released a simulated video of its missile forces carrying out a mass attack on Taiwan, boasting of its land, sea and air launch capabilities.

The 70-second propaganda video used a mix of computer-generated animation and live footage to depict warships, land-based missile launchers and jet fighters launching waves of missiles at the island.

“Destroy the Taiwan independence pillar! Strike the Taiwan independence base camp! Cut off the blood flow for Taiwan independence!” the People's Liberation Army branch wrote in the video.

The animated missiles — dubbed “Independence Killing Weapons” in the video — fall on a 3D map of Taipei, Hualien, and Kaohsiung, disappearing into GIFs of fireballs.

The video is one of China's most public messages to date regarding its missile capabilities in a Taiwan scenario.

China's missile forces have developed rapidly in recent years, alarming American officials who are now examining its arsenals and assets. The Pentagon's main concern has been the missile power of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and its ability to strike targets deep in the Indo-Pacific.

Chinese People's Liberation Army forces would not need long-range missiles to strike Taiwan, which is separated from mainland China by a 110-mile strait. But at least several PLA brigades operate with or under the Eastern Theater Command, and are mostly armed with short- and medium-range missiles. They are also believed to possess the Dongfeng-21, a hypersonic missile dubbed the “aircraft carrier killer.”

Taiwan, recognizing the Chinese missile threat, has stockpiled American-made Patriot missiles.

The missile video was released on Friday to coincide with a series of joint Chinese live-fire exercises around Taiwan that begin on Thursday, the largest such exercise in more than a year near the self-ruled island.

The “Common Sword” exercise lasted two days, according to Chinese authorities, who said it was a coordinated effort by its land, sea, air and missile forces as “punishment” for “separatist” actions in Taiwan.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said that Beijing had deployed 33 aircraft, 16 coast guard ships and 15 naval vessels.

These exercises come three days after Lai Cheng-ti of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party was sworn in as president of the island. Lai and his party, which ruled Taiwan under former leader Tsai Ing-wen, have focused on resisting Beijing, angering Chinese officials who say Taipei is teetering toward the red line of declaring independence.

Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have continually escalated since Lai's election in January.

Two months later, China announced that it intends to increase defense spending by 7.2% to reach $230 billion this year, while announcing that it would deter Taiwan from engaging in “separatist activities.”



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