At a time when China has stepped up its military exercises near Taiwan Strait, Beijing released a video on Lunar New Year for the people of Taiwan, featuring images of fighter jets and bombers as a reminder of its claim on the island nation.
Titled ‘My Fighting Eagles Fly Around Formosa’ – an old name for Taiwan, the video was published on social media by the PLA Air Force Airborne Corps. The video shows H-6 bombers and J-20 stealth fighters of the People’s Liberation Army taking part in exercises against images of Taiwan’s skyscrapers.
The lyrics of the song playing in the background call for “Brothers and sisters” from Taiwan to “return and reunite”. Chinese President Xi Jinping has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president in 2016.
Recently, Xi said in a speech that China reserved the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but would strive to achieve peaceful “reunification”.
However, in a tit-for-tat move, the Taiwanese Defence Ministry released a 90-second video of its own, titled Freedom Is Not Free, on Facebook.
The video features warships, fighter jets, attack helicopters, tanks and artillery of the island nation with an accompanying message, saying Taiwan’s military is always ready for combat, even during the Lunar New Year holiday.