An influential mainland Chinese military magazine has released a video outlining a potential attack on Taiwan’s defence systems.
The 11-minute video, produced by the Naval and Merchant Ships monthly magazine, was on released on Wednesday as the island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, officially began her second term in office, vowing to never accept Beijing’s “one country, two systems” proposal for cross-strait unification.
“Everybody understands today is a special day,” the magazine in its Weibo account, referring to Tsai’s inauguration. “The PLA has capabilities and determination to safeguard China’s national unity.”
According to the video, the attack is meant to destroy Taiwan’s air and naval forces as well as its air- and shore-based defences, to gain air superiority over the island, paving the way for a landing.
But it does not include any potential involvement by American or Japanese forces.
The simulated attack starts with two sets of missile launches – one barrage fired from Ningde in Fujian province at a missile base on Dongyin island, the other fired from mobile rocket forces in Fujian at air defences and airports across the island.
“In around four minutes, Taiwan’s air power is badly damaged and those Taiwanese aircraft that have already taken off, will be shot down with S400 missiles.”
More barrages are fired to take out missile-launch bases in the north of the island and aircraft taking off from eastern Taiwan.
The fighter jets take off from the mainland’s southeast coast to take control of the island’s airspace, and a number of F-15 fighters from two aircraft carrier strike groups attack Taiwanese warships.
“After nearly two hours ... all anti-air defence bases are destroyed and most of Taiwan’s warplanes are damaged,” the video says. “What’s awaiting them is the second round of attacks after dawn.”
At around 1am, landing troops leave Fujian, making a four-hour passage across the Taiwan Strait for another assault on the island.
The video’s sabre-rattling message contrasts with calls for restraint in Chinese state media and from military strategists.
Mainland military strategist Qiao Liang warned earlier this month that now was not the time to take back Taiwan by force because it would be too costly.
“China’s ultimate goal is not the reunification of Taiwan, but to achieve the dream of national rejuvenation – so that all 1.4 billion Chinese can have a good life,” Qiao, a professor at the PLA National Defence University in Beijing, said earlier this month.
“Could it be achieved by taking Taiwan back? Of course not. So we shouldn’t make this the top priority. If Beijing wants to take Taiwan back by force, it will need to mobilise all its resources and power to do this,” he said. “You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, it’s too costly.”
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