China’s army filmed apparently preparing for conflict in Taiwan strait

Propaganda video shows troops running past anti-landing barricades similar to those that dot Taiwan’s coast

China’s army released a propaganda video showing soldiers preparing for a conflict in what appears to be the Taiwan strait.

The one-and-a-half-minute video, published on the Eastern Theatre Command’s official WeChat account on Thursday, is titled “Reading the Strait” and shows soldiers in combat gear doing press-ups under crashing waves, a tank battalion driving into the sunset and troops running up sandy shores past anti-landing barricades, similar to those that dot Taiwan’s coast.

The video is accompanied by a catchy ballad, with lyrics such as “go over the city gate and the high wall and take the freest way”, “don’t be afraid” and “we turned over the mountain to meet the sunset”.

The WeChat post includes a poem with similar lines. The poem concludes: “You, no matter how dark it is, don’t be afraid. Fireflies and moonlight as the guiding light, we ride the wind with our dreams, chase and win the warmest years.”

Neither the video nor the WeChat post mention Taiwan directly. But the Eastern Theatre Command, a division of the People’s Liberation Army, is based on China’s eastern coast and has responsibility for the Taiwan strait. It is the military division that periodically conducts drills around the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

Last month, Xi Jinping, China’s president, toured the command’s headquarters in Nanjing and urged the military to improve its war readiness, while praising the “significant contributions” of the command in safeguarding China’s territorial integrity.

The post published on Thursday said Eastern Theatre Command soldiers were “ready to fight all the time, ready to fight at any time”.


Amy Hawkins

The GuardianTramp

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