China to practice
Taiwan ‘invasion’

By WND Staff

The Chinese military is preparing a dress-rehearsal, war-games assault on Taiwan for the later this month – the first time Beijing has ever gone this far in preparations for a threatened invasion.

The 18,000-man landing on the beaches of Dongshan Island is to involve amphibious assault craft, Russian-built fighter jets and submarines operating in the Taiwan Strait to ward off a simulated counter-attack by the U.S. Seventh Fleet, according to press reports in China.

Dongshan Island is 240 kilometers from the southern tip of Taiwan and has the same geography and local dialect. The island is inhabited by a million people, compared with 22 million on Taiwan, which has a significantly larger land mass.

The mock invasion will be the first exercise aimed at “taking control of the Taiwan Strait,” according to a Shanghai news account.

“Sukhoi SU27 fighter jets will be outfitted with guided air-to-surface missiles to ensure tank brigades can make a landing and engage in warfare,” the New Express Daily reported.

The mock military exercise comes at a time of high tension across the Taiwan Strait, following the re-election of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, who has been sharply criticized by Beijing for his pro-independence positions.

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