China releases eight-part documentary showing its ability to attack Taiwan

China has been intensifying its pressure on Taiwan in recent months – Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesChina has released an eight-part documentary about its military’s readiness to attack Taiwan which showcases soldiers pledging to die invading the island if required.The first instalment of “Chasing Dreams” was aired by state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday to mark the 96th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military.It features footage of military drills, particularly around Taiwan, and dramatic testimonials from dozens of soldiers.Some said they would be willing to lay down their lives for the cause of capturing the island.“My fighter jet would be my last missile, rushing towards the enemy if in a real battle I had used up all my ammunition,” said a man identified as Li Peng, a pilot from Wang Hai Squadron under the military’s Eastern Theatre Command, which is responsible for carrying out operations in the Taiwan Strait.A Chinese fighter jet pilot from the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army – Mei Shaoquan/XinhuaThe series comes amid moves by Beijing to intensify pressure on democratic Taiwan, which split from China in 1949 after the country’s civil war ended, including by staging frequent war drills.The ruling Communist Party has vowed to “unify” the island with mainland China, using force if necessary.

Taiwan, which has its own government, currency and military, says only its 23 million people can decide the island’s future.Fear on the riseFears of a possible Chinese attack have risen amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, while Russian forces were able to enter Ukrainian territory by land, China and Taiwan are separated by the 110-mile-wide Taiwan Strait.In an apparent demonstration of China’s naval prowess, the documentary shows the Shandong, a Chinese aircraft carrier, sailing in formation with several other warships.The vessel has regularly sailed in the Taiwan Strait in recent months, moves which Taiwanese analysts said amounted to intimidation tactics.The series also features the People’s Liberation Army’s amphibious assault group practising a charge towards a beach, with aerial cover provided by fighter jets and land and ship-launched missiles, according to the South China Morning Post.Story continuesTaiwan continues to prepare for an invasion by China – I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg“I would like to go and see the other side of the Strait,” said Wang Xinjie, a member of the amphibious assault group.

“I have been preparing for that day.”Zuo Feng, a frogman, in the navy’s minesweeper unit, meanwhile told the documentary he would be willing to use his own body to take out defences.“If war broke out and the conditions were too difficult to safely remove the naval mines in actual combat, we would use our own bodies to clear a safe pathway for our [landing] forces,” he said.Joint SwordThe programme also showcased the Chinese military’s “Joint Sword” drills around Taiwan, which simulated precision strikes against the island.

The exercises came after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen visited the US in April.Beijing has steadily ramped up military activity around Taiwan in recent years.On Sunday, Taiwan’s defence ministry said it had detected 20 Chinese military aircraft around the island, including 10 that crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial boundary that had long been considered a buffer between the two sides, or entered the south-west area of its air defence identification zone.The ministry said the aircraft were conducting a joint combat patrol with five Chinese naval vessels.Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism.

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