CHINA has released a chilling Apocalypse Now-style propaganda video appearing to show rehearsals for a full scale invasion of Taiwan.
Fighter jets can be seen roaring overhead, a fleet of tanks rumble across dirt roads, and missiles can be seen being fired.
China’s government seems to have learned a lesson from Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Beijing's drills show they want any attack to be well-rehearsed and quick – while Russia remains bogged down in a meatgrinder for the last 18 months.
Away from the conflict in Europe, the eyes of the world are nervously watching the boiling tensions between the two nations in East Asia.
Demonstrating the capabilities of its military, China released the hair-raising propaganda video showing troops preparing for an attack on what appears to be the Taiwan Strait.
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The one-and-a-half-minute clip was published by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on WeChat last night.
It shows soldiers in combat gear doing press-ups in seawater and running up a sandy hill with arms in hand.
They can be seen parachuting in from warplanes and carrying out close-combat fights.
It is accompanied by an eeriely upbeat song with lyrics such as “don’t be afraid” and “go over the city gate and the high wall”.
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Both the video and the WeChat post do not mention Taiwan directly.
But PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command division, which published the wargame-like montage, oversees the Taiwan Strait.
And it appears the threat is squarely aimed at Taiwan.
Chinese state media and PLA often release propaganda videos of military drills and testimonials by soldiers to boost the already rising nationalism.
Neither the UK nor the US recognise Taiwan as a sovereign country, and China claims it as its own territory to be conquered by force.
But the island’s democratically elected government has previously stressed that China would face difficulties crossing the Taiwan Strait that separates the two.
Tensions have been rising in recent months, with the Chinese navy carrying out combat training around the island earlier this year.
Just last month, China deployed fighter jets and warships near Taiwan twice in just a matter of days.
They were scrambled during a visit by US treasury secretary Janet Yellen to Beijing aimed at mending the strained relationship.
The PLA released the montage just hours before Taiwan’s vice president William Lai returned from a trip to the US.
The sensitive visit was condemned by China and the politician was labelled a “separatist”.
‘Because of everyone’s hard work, Taiwan’s power is stronger and stronger, and it showed the international community that Taiwan is a force for good, that the international community really pays great attention to Taiwan,’ Lai said after returning home.
His words are likely to have struck a chord with Beijing, which has seen Taiwan as its province for decades.
The tiny island has long been at the epicentre of the China-US dominance contest.
If China is to take control, there are concerns US military bases in the region could be threatened.
Taiwan has also emerged as an important ally to Ukraine during the invasion, shipping humanitarian aid.
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Meanwhile, the unofficial China-Russia alliance is becoming stronger, and the two powers have strayed from criticising each other during the course of the war.
If China does follow up on its threats to Taiwan, the West and Russia may be forced to step in.
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