Fri, Jan 22, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ministry dismisses PLA military drill footage as ‘exaggerations’ and ‘false’

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday made reassurances the situation in the Taiwan Strait is being closely monitored, refuting news reports that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting large-scale military drills in Fujian Province as a show of force in response to Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections.

The ministry issued a statement yesterday to several Taiwanese media outlets, saying that examination of the news footage found the videos were composites pieced together showing various PLA military units conducting military exercises last year.

News claims of large-scale PLA military drills in Fujian Province are “exaggerations, and false news reports,” the statement said.

“The military activities shown on China Central Television’s news footage did not conform to the actual conditions and activities of PLA’s winter military drills in recent months,” the ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said the ministry monitors military activities around the Taiwan Strait closely, and from the information gathered, PLA units had been conducting their scheduled winter exercises and these drills were routine training sessions.

Taiwanese news outlets caused controversy yesterday when several reported that Chinese media showed video footage of large-scale military drills in Fujian Province, supposedly in response to Taiwan’s elections.

Some news footage reportedly showed the PLA 31st Group Army carrying out amphibious landing exercises, along with fighter jets and long-range missiles.

The 31st Group Army is a composite unit with infantry divisions, air defense and artillery regiments, and is tasked with monitoring the Taiwan Strait and holds priority status in the PLA’s command structure.

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