Thu. Jul 11th, 2024

Chinese officials say taking control of Taiwan island is ‘pointless’

Chinese officials say taking control of Taiwan island is 'pointless' 6
Chinese officials say taking control of Taiwan island is 'pointless' 6

`There are only 200 soldiers stationed in Dong Sa, it makes no sense for the Chinese military to have to deploy an entire aircraft carrier battle group to occupy such a small archipelago,` said an anonymous official in the Chinese military (

Previously, Japan’s Kyodo News newspaper cited unnamed sources in the Chinese military to reveal that the Southern Theater Command, the unit in charge of combat in the East Sea, will deploy forces on a large scale yet.

The hypothetical target of the exercise is the Dong Sa archipelago, located in the northeast of the East Sea, currently controlled by Taiwan’s defense forces, according to sources.

An anonymous PLA official yesterday confirmed that an aircraft carrier strike group would pass through the Dongsha Islands on its way to the exercise area in southeast Taiwan, in the Philippine Sea.

This person said that the large-scale exercise with the participation of aircraft carriers could cause concern for the Taiwanese government, but affirmed that its purpose was part of a routine training program, not a simulation.

`They just want to test the navy’s readiness and combat capabilities in tropical waters,` the official added.

Chinese amphibious ships exercise near Hainan in 2018. Photo: Chinese Ministry of National Defense.

It is currently unclear whether the PLA will deploy the Liaoning, the country’s only aircraft carrier with preliminary combat capabilities, or the self-built Shandong that was put into service at the end of 2019, to participate in the exercise.

Lu Li-shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy, said that the Chinese military will not seek to capture the islands controlled by Taiwan, because they no longer have the same strategic value as before.

`The Dongsha Islands and Ba Binh Island have both lost their geostrategic value since China built up artificial islands in the East Sea. They currently have three 3,000 m long runways with the ability to receive all types of civil aircraft

Ba Binh Island belongs to Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago, illegally occupied by Taiwan and stationed by a coast guard force.

Chi Le-yi, a military analyst in Taiwan, said that the upcoming exercises, as well as the PLA’s overall efforts to increase its air and naval operations, are evidence that China is looking to

`Landing exercises are a training content of the Chinese navy to serve the goal of controlling the entire East Sea. It can be seen as a move to prepare to attack Taiwan, but in reality, Beijing is building

Chinese officials say taking control of Taiwan island is 'pointless'

Location of Dong Sa archipelago.

However, some experts still believe that China organized the exercise to send a message to Taiwan and the United States.

`The amphibious exercise took place immediately after the Chinese navy conducted 11 weeks of exercises in the Bohai Sea. It was a warning to Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen and the US administration that the Chinese military is always ready to act.`

China considers Taiwan a part of its territory awaiting reunification, including by force if necessary.

The Dongsha Islands are located 340 km from Hong Kong and 850 km from Taipei, and are placed within the administrative jurisdiction of Kaohsiung city by the Taiwanese government, while China claims sovereignty and places it in Guangzhou province.

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