Saturday saw China’s simulated attack use drones, special forces and airborne troops in a staged exercise to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan. The horrific drills were reported by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV and marked the first time in recent years a state media outlet told all about preparations to attack the country. It marks the latest act of aggression from Beijing in the South China Sea, and follows increased naval presence from China in the dispute waters.
The simulated attack took place on Taiwan’s National Day, with the drills beginning at night.
CCTV’s report detailed how Chinese forces moved in from multiple locations to demonstrate their preparedness for an invasion.
The report added: “The exercise, with the effective integration of multiple new combat forces, increased the actual combat capability of the troops in joint landing and three-dimensional assault.”
Beijing has ramped up its military drills as it views Taiwan as part of mainland China, and want to reunite the countries by any means.
READ MORE: Taiwan residents can ‘feel’ China tensions rise as South China Sea drills spark war fears
As China carried out the drills, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen urged Beijing for “meaningful dialogue”.
Speaking at National Day celebrations, she decried the “quite tense” Taiwan Strait stalemate, and urged Beijing to find a peaceful resolution.
She said: “As long as the Beijing authorities are willing to resolve antagonisms and improve cross-strait relations, while parity and dignity are maintained, we are willing to work together to facilitate meaningful dialogue.”
Previous reports from Taiwan detailed the huge pressure Chinese Air Force drills over the Strait put on the country’s finances, with Taiwan spending $1.3 billion to scramble its own fighter jets against the incursions.
Taiwan also reported on Sunday Chinese fighters entered restricted airspace again.
The incursion marks the 17th time China has sent military aircraft over Taiwan since September 16.
Taiwan’s defence minister said the country had spent more than eight percent of its military budget for the year on dealing with Chinese fly-overs.
Su Tzu-yun, analyst at the Institute for National Defence and Security Research, told Business Insider the repeated fly-overs were “a kind of attrition and psychological war tactic to exhaust Taiwan’s forces and reduce the public’s alertness against a possible Chinese attack”.
The Taiwan drills mark the latest Chinese military display in the South China Sea, with the US beginning to intervene.
On Sunday Beijing scramble ships and jets to track down the US missile destroyer John S McCain as it passed by Chinese-held islands in the disputed waters.
Col. Zhang Nandong, Spokesperson for the PLA’s Southern Theater Command, was enraged at the US’ “blatant navigation hegemony and military provocation” that “seriously violated
China’s sovereignty and security interests, and gravely jeopardised peace and stability in the South China Sea”.
He added: “We urge the US side to immediately stop such kind of provocative actions, strictly manage and control its maritime and air military operations so as not to cause any eventuality.”