The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command has released a provocative video showing troops practicing a coastal invasion of Taiwan. The video first appeared on the social media site WeChat Thursday, and features waves of PLA soldiers storming beaches, including armored vehicles and tanks driving into attack positions.
The clip didn’t specifically name Taiwan, but given the Eastern Theatre Command oversees the Taiwan Strait area, it’s being widely interpreted as a warning and threat aimed at the self-ruled island which is backed by the West.
The Daily Mail in highlighting the video on Friday, commented: “Meanwhile, the song featured in the video and the accompanying WeChat post were littered with evocative lyrics and phrases like ‘go over the city gate and the high wall’ and ‘no matter how dark it is, don’t be afraid… chase and win the warmest years’.”
At the same time, new joint Russia-China naval drills near Japan’s waters have alarmed Tokyo and its Western allies. Russia’s defense ministry (MoD) have confirmed the major exercises which rehearse ‘interoperability’ in the Pacific Ocean.
Russian state media summarized of the MoD statements:
A Chinese vessel supplied a Russian warship with fuel and water as the two kept moving on parallel courses.
In a post on Telegram on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the crews of the Admiral Tributs anti-submarine warfare ship and China’s Tayhu supply ship practiced synchronizing the two vessels’ speed while maintaining the right distance.
Russian military officials added that the two navies are currently conducting joint patrols in the East China Sea, covering more than 6,400 nautical miles (11,853km, or 7,365 miles) since the start of the maneuvers in the Pacific in late July.
The two navies have also been conducting anti-submarine and anti-aircraft drills, which have been closely monitored from Japan.
Russia and China conduct series of naval drills in East China Sea pic.twitter.com/0lbEyzVShv
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) August 18, 2023
The Japanese government on Friday expressed “grave concern” given the close proximity of the Russian-Chinese naval grouping, consisting of nearly a dozen warships, having passed near Japan’s southern islands on Thursday.
While the ships did not breach Japan’s territorial waters, the particular passageway used off the southern islands marked a first for the Russian and Chinese navies.
All of this comes just as President Biden is hosting his Japanese and South Korean counterparts at Camp David on Friday…
President Joe Biden opened a historic summit with Japan and South Korea at Camp David on Friday focused on strengthening security and economic ties at a time of increasing concerns about North Korea’s persistent nuclear threats and China’s provocations in the Pacific.
“Our countries are stronger and the world will be safer as we stand together. And I know this is a belief that all three share,” Biden declared at the start of the meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the presidential retreat in Maryland.
Addressing his fellow leaders at what he called the first standalone summit of the three nations, the American president said, “I want to thank you both for your political courage that brought you here.”
The three leaders are reportedly putting in place long-term joint naval exercises in Pacific waters as a response to regional provocations, including from North Korea and China. Beijing has been alarmed at deepening Washington-Tokyo defense relations in particular.
China has also warned that NATO must not seek expansion east into the Pacific arena, after months ago there was talk of NATO opening a liaison office in Japan, but which didn’t materialize. SOURCE.