Taiwan's annual military drill emboldens secessionists, but PLA's operation 'will be like thunderbolt' if real war comes: expert
Published: Apr 27, 2022 10:04 PM
A US-made F-16V fighter jet takes off from the freeway in Changhua county, Taiwan, as a crowd takes photos during the annual Han Kuang drill on May 28, 2019. Photo: AFP

A US-made F-16V fighter jet takes off from the freeway in Changhua county, Taiwan, as a crowd takes photos during the annual Han Kuang drill on May 28, 2019. Photo: AFP

A day after guide-missile destroyer USS Sampson's provocative transit through the Taiwan Straits, the Taiwan authority announced the details and focus of the Han Kuang military exercise in 2022, saying they will consider lessons learned from the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Chinese mainland experts said the annual war games are nothing special but to embolden the secessionists, as once the Chinese mainland is forced to solve the Taiwan question militarily, it will be like a "thunderbolt" unlike the situation in Ukraine.

The defense authority of Taiwan on Wednesday said that the Han Kuang exercise will be divided into two phases: an "all-out defense" computer simulation in May, and live-fire drills in July, Taiwan media reported. 

The defense authority of Taiwan said the main focus in the war games includes boosting preservation of combat power, bolstering joint maritime operations, and integrating civilians to serve as auxiliary forces to support military operations.

Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council, said on Wednesday that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority is "seeking secession through the military," which will only lead to their own destruction.  

"Even I, a layman [of the military], am scorned by the Taiwan authority's limited weaponry and equipment as well as the [low] level of military exercises," Ma said.

Ma slammed the DPP authority for "wantonly squandering money earned by Taiwan people to buy weapons and create cross-Straits confrontation," tying the 23 million Taiwan people to the secession chariot, and pushing the island into the disaster of war.  

Although the Taiwan defense authority said they will learn from the Ukraine-Russia conflict in terms of asymmetric warfare, cognitive and information warfare, and whole community operation, mainland experts believe that the scenario in Europe is "completely devoid of reference" when it comes to China's internal affairs. 

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Taiwan authority's strategy has not changed substantially, and the aim to express its operation in detail is to show they are well-prepared even without the support of the US. 

The secessionists on the island are emboldening themselves by a self-deceiving drill to illustrate their capacity of resisting the People's Liberation Army (PLA), said Song. "Let them fool themselves."

In October 2021, Taiwan secessionists boasted of the result of computer simulation from the Han Kuang exercise, which showed that the island troops optimized "battle force preservation and troop transfer" in the first wave of a PLA attack, defeat "PLA's invasion."

If the PLA were forced to settle the Taiwan question by force, it would certainly be like a thunderbolt: with greater equipment superiority to achieve a quick and decisive victory. Keep the island from receiving any military aid through a complete blockade, Song said.