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China shows off tanks in simulated battle for Taiwan

China is warning Taiwan with new footage of simulated battles that recently aired on state television, according to a Hong Kong-based analyst Thursday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
China is warning Taiwan with new footage of simulated battles that recently aired on state television, according to a Hong Kong-based analyst Thursday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- China is demonstrating its military power on state networks in what analysts say is a warning to Taiwan and President Tsai Ing-wen.

Beijing's China Central Television recently aired footage of a simulated war, set in Taiwan, showing the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army's Type 96A tanks and Type 04 infantry fighting vehicles, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday.

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China's main battle tanks were on display in a scenario that depicted a Chinese landing or invasion of the island in a "possible war against Taiwan," Chinese state media said, according to the Post.

State media also said the PLA assumes street battles on the 14,000-square-mile island are "inevitable, once troops land on the self-ruled island," the report says.

The mock landing featured a combat brigade of the PLA's 72nd Group Army in eastern China, with 230 troops and 30 tanks representing the Chinese army, fighting a rival team, representing the Taiwanese side, with 70 soldiers and six tanks. The Taiwanese team was shown delivering weaker fighting power, according to the report.

The PLA army in the simulation seized a Taiwanese city in less than three minutes in an area of landmines and roadblocks, the Post reported.

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Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military analyst, said China's military would be ready to deploy amphibious assault ships, including the Type 075 and Type 071, to deliver Chinese tanks to the island in the event of war.

"As the Taiwan problem is an issue on the table, the recent street battle broadcast by CCTV was also aimed at sending a warning to the Taiwan independence-leaning forces," Song said.

China's display of military might comes as Taiwan builds up its forces.

Taiwan News reported Tuesday Taipei's navy launched its first heavily armed corvette warship, dubbed the "aircraft carrier killer."

The Tuo Chiang-class corvettes can be equipped with anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, according to the report.

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