Soldiers used live weapons in the mock take over of an unnamed island in China’s Fujian Province, 214 miles away from Taiwan. Footage released by state media outlet CCTV showed Chinese helicopters fire missiles at the landmass, while People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops fired machine guns at water targets.
Footage of the Chinese military drill, said to have taken place “recently”, was released this week after Mr Xi told his force to be on high alert “at all times”.
Helicopters were instructed to fly 66 feet above sea level to launch “precise strikes” against ground targets.
Ground targets set up on Minnan, mainland China’s closest point to Taiwan, were obliterated by Chinese missiles, as troops practiced drooping from the aircrafts onto the land below.
CCTV did not state whether the drills were related to Taiwan.
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China carried out a simulated invasion on Taiwan during the country’s National Day holiday last year.
A CCTV report at the time explained how Chinese forces moved in from multiple locations onto an island neighbouring the Taiwan Straits.
It 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.”
Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson at the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, also issued a chilling warning during the drills and said: “Taiwan independence is a dead end, while confrontation will lead to nowhere.”
It comes after Mr Xi commanded PLA forces to train in “real combat conditions” at the start of the year.
In a statement published to the Chinese military commission website, the President issued an order to troops to be ready for a “real war scenario”.
The order said: “Training under real combat conditions must be deepened and all military training should be war-centred and conducive to improving combat effectiveness, and the research on warfare and combat-related issues should be enhanced”.
It also asked forces to “strengthen confrontational training under real war scenario, hone the troops in the frontline of military struggle, and promote the in-depth combination and integration of military training and operations, ensuring combat readiness all the time and operational capability at any time”.
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Chinese forces are said to have “jumped into action” after getting the order from Mr Xi.
Mr Xi also called on troops to “put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war” in a visit to a military base in October.
After inspecting the People’s Liberation Army Marine Corps in Chaozhou City, Xinhua, Mr Xi told soldiers to “maintain a state of high alert” and called on them to be “absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable.”
Later in November, the President urged his troops not to fear death and to get ready to win wars in an address to military commanders.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to the United Nations, virtually this week.
Ms Craft, who was scheduled to visit Taipei in person before the trip was cancelled, told Ms Tsai “the United States will always stand with Taiwan”.
Beijing was outraged by the meeting, posting on China’s Mission to the UN Twitter account: “The United States should understand that the attempt to challenge the one-China principle receives no support and is doomed to fail.”
Under President Donald Trump, the US has ramped up diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and sold $5.861 billion worth of weapons systems to the country in 2020.