China's PLA Conducts Beach Landing, Assault Drills On Taiwan National Day

Amid tensions with Taiwan, China's 73rd Group Army of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) held a beach-landing and assault drills near the island nation.

The Weibo account for the CCTV-7 National Defense and Military Channel released a video on Sunday (Oct.10), Taiwan's National Day, showing troops invading a beach across the Taiwan Strait in southern China.

Sappers, Troops and Boats in the Military Exercise

As reported by The Japan Times, the official People's Liberation Army Daily newspaper, in a brief report on its Weibo microblogging account, said the drills had been carried out "in recent days" in the southern part of Fujian province.

The action had involved "shock" troops, sappers and boat specialists, the Chinese military newspaper added. The troops were "divided into multiple waves to grab the beach and perform combat tasks at different stages," it added.

The group's four-day operation tested various combat capabilities including combat readiness, evacuation, concealment, assembly and tactical coordination, according to the South China Morning Post. Footage from state media showed soldiers holding machine guns and setting up traps in the woods, using a mix of weapons and crafts, including high-speed assault boats and drones.

Chinese military conducts beach landing drills near Taiwan
Chinese military conducts beach landing drills near Taiwan South China Morning Post

Soldiers in Small Boats Storming a beach, Throwing Smoke Grenades

The troops toss smoke grenades and storm the beach. Once on land, they can be seen planting small red flags as they advance. The soldiers are shown firing live ammunition and setting off live explosives. They dig a trench and set up a mortar position before a second wave hits the beach, reported Taiwan News.

Fujian would be a key launching site for any Chinese invasion of Taiwan due to its geographical proximity, according to Reuters.

China routinely carries out military exercises up and down its coast as well as in the disputed South China Sea.

Raging Tensions

Although no mention of Taiwan's National Day was made, the video was likely timed to send a message to the Taiwan government to show Beijing's determination to annex the country "by force if necessary," reported Taiwan News.

The move comes as China threatened Taiwan with military action as it plans to "reunify" with the island. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen hit out at China asserting that it won't bow to the Communist nation even as President Xi Jinping declared "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan was possible.

: People’s Republic of China and Republic of China (Taiwan).
: People’s Republic of China and Republic of China (Taiwan). Wikimedia Commons

Jinping warned that China has "staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty" while referring to Taiwan, reported WION.

Jinping had defiantly said, "Taiwan's independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to achieving the reunification," as he called it a "serious hidden danger to national rejuvenation".

The Global Times threatened on Sunday that the CCP "will have little choice but to take Taiwan to the battlefield" after the island's president vowed to resist "threats" from Beijing.

Quoting from 'experts' within China, the paper accused "secessionist" Tsai of stirring up tensions while warning that "resisting reunification by force will only bring doom more quickly."