Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Do not read too much into live-fire drills: China

MIND GAMES:China’s Ministry of Defense said ‘there is no need to over-interpret’ a report on recent drills that included archived video clips of landing drills

Reuters, BEIJING

The Chinese Ministry of Defense yesterday said people should not read too much into a state media broadcast of live-fire military and landing drills just days after a landslide election win by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Saturday last week.

Taiwan expressed serious concern on Thursday over the Chinese broadcast.

The Ministry of National Defense confirmed that China had recently carried out “winter exercises,” but said that the pictures in the video were archive clips spliced together of drills conducted last year.

“The relevant media report is a summary of training maneuvers organized last year by troops. There is no need to over-interpret them,” the Chinese Ministry of Defense said in a two-sentence statement.

Late on Wednesday, Chinese state TV said the 31st Group Army, based in China’s southeastern city of Xiamen, opposite Taiwan, had carried out the drills in “recent days,” but it did not give an exact location.

The channel broadcast images of amphibious armored vehicles ploughing through the sea toward a landing site, helicopters firing missiles at shore locations and soldiers parachuting from helicopters.

The report made no direct mention of Taiwan’s elections, but a Taiwanese military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the broadcast may be “psychological warfare” warning the new Taiwanese government to tread carefully.

Since the landslide win by president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the DPP, China has warned against any moves toward independence and said it would defend the country’s sovereignty.

The US has expressed concerns about the danger of worsening China-Taiwan ties.

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