As Xi Jinping stirred up nationalist sentiment at the Communist Party’s centennial celebration, emphasizing the completion of the “reunification of the motherland,” a Chinese magazine with an official background, Ship Knowledge, published an article and video depicting the concrete steps the Chinese military would take to “unify Taiwan by force.
The news was reported or reprinted by the South China Morning Post, the U.S. media outlet Hopewell and several Taiwanese media outlets. Ship Knowledge describes a three-stage scenario for an attack on Taiwan.
In the first phase, the PLA launches a ballistic missile attack on Taiwan with the goal of destroying Taiwan’s airfields, early warning radars, air defense missile bases, and information gathering and decision-making facilities such as command centers located throughout the island. The PLA could use East Wind-16 short-range ballistic missiles to break through Taiwan’s missile defense system.
The second stage is to launch missiles such as the Hawk-91 and Rapier-10 cruise missiles from land, warships, and submarines to intensively bomb Taiwan’s military bases, arsenals, radar, communications infrastructure, and highways and other key roads.
The third phase involves surface ships and land-based rocket forces jointly launching heavy artillery bombardment to clear the final obstacles for the PLA’s marines and amphibious landing force to land on Taiwan.
Naval Knowledge, founded in the 1970s, is said to be the top three most influential intellectual publications in mainland China. The other two are Aviation Knowledge and Weapons Knowledge.
An animated video posted on Weibo by Ship Knowledge issued a stern warning to Taiwan that Taiwan independence will only lead to a dead end.
Xi Jinping said again at the Communist Party’s centennial conference that solving the Taiwan issue and achieving the complete reunification of the motherland “is a historical task that the Communist Party of China is determined to pursue.” He also warned the United States and other Western countries that “no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and powerful ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
In recent months, the situation in the Taiwan Strait has been unprecedentedly tense. The Chinese Communist Party’s voice for the armed reunification of Taiwan has risen sharply, and military pressure on Taiwan has increased substantially. Various PLA military aircraft have been intruding into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone more frequently, and on June 15, as many as 28 sorties were committed by Chinese military aircraft, alarming the international community.
However, military observers in the Taiwan Strait point out that the U.S. and other Western countries have taken full notice of the risk of CCP incursions into Taiwan and are strengthening multilateral military cooperation and holding frequent multinational military exercises to deter Chinese attempts to violate Taiwan. At the same time, they are increasing the supply of high-end offensive weapons to Taiwan to strengthen its defense capabilities. Observers believe that all of this will impose a huge cost on the Chinese military’s move to unify Taiwan with China.