CHINA has released a chilling Apocalypse Now-style propaganda video that appears to show rehearsals for a full-scale invasion of Taiwan.
Fighter planes roar overhead, a fleet of tanks rumbles over dirt roads, and missiles are fired.
China’s government appears to have learned a lesson from Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Beijing’s drills show that every attack should be well rehearsed and quick – while Russia has been in a bind for 18 months.
Away from the conflict in Europe, the eyes of the world nervously watch the seething tensions between the two nations in East Asia.
To demonstrate the prowess of its military, China released the outrageous propaganda video showing troops preparing to attack what appears to be the Taiwan Strait.
The one and a half minute clip was released by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on WeChat last night.
It shows soldiers in combat gear doing push-ups in seawater and running up a sandy hill, arms in hand.
They can be seen parachuting from fighter jets and engaging in hand-to-hand combat.
It is accompanied by an incredibly happy song with lyrics like “Don’t be afraid” and “Go over the city gate and the high wall”.
There is no direct mention of Taiwan in either the video or the WeChat post.
But the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command branch, which released the wargame-style montage, is monitoring the Taiwan Strait.
And it seems that the threat is clearly aimed at Taiwan.
Chinese state media and the PLA frequently publish propaganda videos of military exercises and statements by soldiers to stoke already growing nationalism.
Neither the UK nor the US recognizes 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 struggle to cross the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two countries.
Tensions have risen in recent months as the Chinese Navy conducted combat drills around the island earlier in the year.
Just last month, China deployed fighter jets and warships near Taiwan twice in a matter of days.
They got mixed up during a visit by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to Beijing aimed at easing the strained relationship.
The PLA released the montage just hours before Taiwan Vice President William Lai returned from a trip to the United States.
The sensitive visit was condemned by China, calling the politician a “separatist”.
“Thanks to everyone’s hard work, Taiwan’s power has continued to grow, and it has shown the international community that Taiwan is a force for good, that the international community really pays close attention to Taiwan,” Lai said after returning home.
His words may have resonated with Beijing, which has regarded Taiwan as its province for decades.
The tiny island has long been the epicenter of the Sino-US competition for supremacy.
Should China take control, there are concerns that US military bases in the region could be threatened.
Taiwan also proved to be a key ally of Ukraine during the invasion, providing humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, the unofficial alliance between China and Russia is growing stronger, and the two powers have refrained from criticizing each other throughout the war.
If China carries out its threats to Taiwan, the West and Russia could be forced to intervene.