PLA Navy releases anniversary celebration video, underscores resolution to shatter Taiwan secessionist forces
Published: Apr 22, 2023 11:12 PM Updated: Apr 22, 2023 11:24 PM

One day ahead of its 74th founding anniversary, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy released a celebration video on Saturday, revealing a large amount of information that experts said highlighted the country's resolution to shatter secessionist forces on the island of Taiwan and safeguard national sovereignty.

The six-minute video is titled Action Jiaolong, which means "sea dragon" in Chinese. This is the third consecutive year that the PLA Navy has released a special celebration video on the occasion of its anniversary.

This year's video contains a number of surprises. Firstly, China's homemade aircraft carriers, Type 075 amphibious assault ships, Type 055 10,000 ton-class large destroyers, and other representative hardware including early warning aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, and satellite communication appeared in the video.

Normally, it is rare for all these "three giants" to appear on the same occasion. According to experts, it indicates that the PLA Navy has established a maritime combat force consisting of five major aspects - submarines, surface vessels, naval aviation, marine corps and coastal defense forces - as well as a variety of specialized service units.

"Based on characteristics of joint warfare in the information technology age, the PLA Navy has been promoting the construction of a maritime force system focusing on new domains such as aircraft carrier formations, nuclear submarines and amphibious operation formations. The joining of these new forces has comprehensively improved maritime deterrence and combat capabilities," Senior Captain Tang Li, an associate research fellow at the PLA Naval Research Academy, told the Global Times.

Tourists visit the Type 052D destroyer <em>Kaifeng</em> and guided-missile frigate <em>Daqing</em> of the PLA Navy during a warship open day event in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on April 22, 2023. The open day was held as part of naval events marking the 74th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy on April 23. Photo: Sun Fei

Tourists visit the Type 052D destroyer Kaifeng and guided-missile frigate Daqing of the PLA Navy during a warship open day event in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on April 22, 2023. The open day was held as part of naval events marking the 74th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy on April 23. Photo: Sun Fei

Another highlight of the video is that on the deck of China's second aircraft carrier the Shandong, 21 J-15 fighter jets are lined up neatly, a feat that took less than four years to achieve after Shandong was commissioned in December 2019.

In the first half of April, Shandong is reported to be conducting intensive drills beyond the first island chain, reaching near Guam on the second island chain after completing Taiwan island encirclement drills.

One of the main sources of the combat capability of aircraft carriers comes from their carrier-based aircraft, and that of the Shandong has always been of great interest to the world. "Through the images in this film, we can see that the Shandong is almost fully loaded with carrier-based aircraft to conduct combat drills, indicating that it has formed initial combat capability to complete various missions," Tang said.

Another highlight comes at the end of the video, when the commander issues the command, "Attention all marine corps, immediate combat mission, target West Pacific waters," and "Fire strike complete, prepare to land."

This imaginative ending has given people the inevitable association that the marine corps is simulating island landing operations in West Pacific waters, where the island of Taiwan is located.

As the separatist forces on the island of Taiwan are relying on the US to seek "independence," the PLA Navy will stand by to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity against any secessionist actions by the DPP and against any interference and provocation by external forces.

It is believed that the Jiaolong Commandos, the "point of the sword" and the toughest unit in the marine corps, will be the first combat forces in any landing operation, and the video also showed them carrying out infiltration missions behind enemy lines.

To celebrate the PLA Navy's anniversary, Qingdao port in East China's Shandong Province has reopened to the public with a display of the country's most advanced combat ships.

The new Type 052D destroyer, the Kaifeng, is being shown to the public for the first time. It was commissioned in April 2021, and as a main combat ship of the PLA Navy, it is mainly tasked with air defense, anti-submarine and marine attack missions.

With a strong integrated combat capability at sea, the Kaifeng is an important force in safeguarding China's maritime rights and interests.