A tactical map of Taiwan shown in a China Central Television (CCTV) report on an ongoing People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military drill has raised concerns on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, a local news report said.
Unidentified Chinese sources were quoted by the Chinese-language United Daily News as saying that CCTV military news reports tend to be carefully selected and should be taken seriously.
CCTV reported over the weekend that the PLA started a large-scale exercise codenamed “Mission Action 2013B” at 7:30pm on Friday.
More than 20,000 soldiers from the Chinese army, navy and air force took part in the exercise, which simulated the transportation of soldiers and ammunition across land, air and sea, the report said.
The drill was information technology-based and involved coordination among all military branches, in effect simulating a tactical battle, CCTV said.
CCTV footage showed a map of Taiwan displayed on the wall of a situation room at the Guangzhou Military Area command center. The map clearly marks the location of the outlying islands of Penghu off Taiwan’s southwestern coast.
Sources familiar with CCTV operations said the map was probably shown to intimidate Taipei.
PLA soldiers taking part in the exercise mainly come from the 42nd Combined Corps, which took part in the Korean War and Sino-Vietnamese War.
The elite unit is believed to be a major part of the force China would send to attack Taiwan in the future, according to Baidupedia.
Major Chinese portals such as Sina and NetEase prominently reported the exposure of the tactical map of Taiwan in the PLA exercise.
While some Chinese netizens said the disclosure could help force Taiwan to start political talks with Beijing, other Chinese netizens said a cross-strait war should be avoided since the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are all ethnic Chinese.