Chinese state media broadcasted a brief snippet of a PLA training exercise at the mock Taipei township, which took place in 2015. It showed tanks descending on the city, bombs being dropped and troops dropped from choppers storming the presidential headquarters. A detailed still image of the invasion briefly appeared on Chinese websites but was quickly removed.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry called the construction of the replica buildings and the training drill “absolutely unacceptable”.
Meanwhile, Beijing described the drill as “routine”, with no specific target.
But, according to experts who spoke to news.com.au, the drills undertaken by the PLA in the replica of Taiwan were far from routine.
The news website describes the scene as “proof China has been practising for years for a war that would spark mass global conflict”.
This is not the first military show of force from China towards Taiwan, which has long received military support from the US.
China has faced controversy over its increasingly aggressive stance towards its island neighbour.
Last month, China sent 19 aircraft, including several nuclear-capable bombers, into Taiwan’s “air defence identification zone”, just one day before Taipei’s annual war games exercises.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned that Taiwan was preparing for war and would “fight to the end” if China was to attack.
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When asked on Thursday by former prime minister Theresa May about the implications of this pact on the UK’s stance on China and Taiwan, Boris Johnson was careful not to rule anything out.
He said: “The United Kingdom remains determined to defend international law and that is the strong advice we would give to our friends across the world, and the strong advice that we would give to the government in Beijing.”
Speaking to the ABC, Mr Wu expressed support for the newly formed AUKUS partnership.
He said: “We are pleased to see that the like-minded partners of Taiwan — the United States and the UK and Australia — are working closer with each other to acquire more advanced defence articles so that we can defend Indo-Pacific.
“Australia is a great country, and I’m very glad to see that Australia is going to shoulder more responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.”
China has escalated its intimidation of Taiwan over the past two years, reaching a peak of more than 80 warplanes being sent towards the island at the start of October.
Thirty eight aircraft entered the Taiwan air zone on Friday and another 39 on Saturday.
But, according to the Sunday Morning Herald, the consensus among military experts is that the probability of war will not increase significantly until China’s military capability matches that of the United States, which is unlikely to occur until the 2030s.