CHINA / MILITARY
PLA holds beach assault drills after US military aircraft's Taiwan island landing
Published: Jul 18, 2021 08:03 PM
Amphibious armored infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) attached to a brigade under the PLA 72nd Group Army drive into the waters during an amphibious training exercise focused on subjects of basic driving, landing craft ferrying and assault wave formation, etc. on May 21, 2021.Photo:China Military

Amphibious armored infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) attached to a brigade under the PLA 72nd Group Army drive into the waters during an amphibious training exercise focused on subjects of basic driving, landing craft ferrying and assault wave formation, etc. on May 21, 2021.Photo:China Military


The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Army and Navy held joint amphibious landing exercises in waters off East China's Fujian Province on Friday, geographically divided from the island of Taiwan only by the Taiwan Straits, just one day after a second US military aircraft landed on Thursday on the island in less than two months. 

This was a move experts said on Sunday that displayed the PLA's capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and sent a warning to the US and Taiwan secessionists amid their "salami-slicing" tactics.

An armored unit attached to a heavy amphibious combined arms brigade affiliated with the PLA 73rd Group Army on Friday conducted a series of live-fire exercises in waters off the southeastern coastline of Fujian, China Central Television (CCTV) reported over the weekend.

Dozens of Type 05 series amphibious armored vehicles moved out from the coast into the sea and boarded PLA Navy's Type 072A tank landing ships, which carried them in a long-distance sea-crossing maneuver.

The domestically developed Type 05 series belong to the PLA's most advanced amphibious armored vehicle family, with good maneuverability at sea, strong firepower and a high level of informatization, the report said.

After approaching the target area, the amphibious armored vehicles were released from the landing ships and launched fire assaults as they marched toward the target beach.

The troops trained not only in daytime, but also at nighttime, Lieutenant Colonel Zhu Chaojun, a battalion commander, was quoted as saying on CCTV.

"As primary-level troops based in the southeastern coast, we must train hard under scenarios just like those in real battles, be combat-ready at all times and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Zhu said.

The drills came only one day after a US Air Force plane, a C-146A, landed on the island of Taiwan on Thursday for the second time in 2021 after a US Air Force C-17 transport aircraft landed on the island on June 6.

The PLA exercises are likely routine and not directly related to the US military aircraft's landing on the island of Taiwan, but they definitely displayed and further honed the troops' capability in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, a Chinese mainland military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.

The US and Taiwan secessionists are again playing their"salami-slicing"tactics and challenging the Chinese mainland's bottom line, the expert said. He noted that the PLA's transparent exercises should be seen as warnings and a deterrent, and more complex drills will likely be staged in the future.
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