On September 21st, the People Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) began mock minesweeping activities “amid Taiwan’s attempt to deploy sea mines in the Taiwan Straits.”
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) September 21, 2020
Multiple minesweeper flotillas attached to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command and Eastern Theater Command recently held live-fire exercises.
This was to “hone their capability to effectively and rapidly clear sea lanes from mines, and open passages for other warships and landing forces, amid Taiwan secessionists’ attempt to surround the Taiwan Straits with mines.”
The Global Times said that it was unclear if the exercise actually took place in the Taiwan straits.
“The moves showed that the PLA has sufficient capability to thwart any attempt of deploying sea mines to obstruct the PLA’s operations, and Taiwan’s tactics of laying mines in the Taiwan Straits to buy time for US reinforcements will not succeed,” Chinese mainland experts said.
Furthermore, Chinese military experts have said that Taiwan deploying any US-made missiles and mines would be quite easy to counter.
The anti-sea mine flotilla consisted of he Liuyang, the Kaiping, and the Changshu affiliated with the PLA Southern Theater Command.
The ships covered the calm sea, under which smart sea mines were hidden, as they would explode once they detect any sound or magnetic field change caused by ships passing by, the report said.
Sonar systems and minesweeping robots were deployed to detect, identify and dismantle the mines, the report said.
“In this exercise, we comprehensively tested the anti-sea mine ships’ ability to react quickly, deal with complicated situations, and carry out anti-sea mine tasks by setting realistic combat scenarios, battlefield environment and difficult training subjects,” He Jing, captain of the Liuyang China Central Television (CCTV).
— China Observer (@ChinaObserver2) September 20, 2020
The drills came just days after Taiwan hosted yet another top American diplomatic delegation, which Beijing has repeatedly warned against, noting a violation in the longstanding ‘One China’ policy.
Multiple US advanced weapons sales are also currently in the works, which China also considers as a direct threat.
Alongside the mine-sweeping drills, on September 18th and 19th, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reportedly conducted nearly 40 sorties featuring four major types of warplanes – air superiority fighters, multirole fighters, bombers and an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, which Chinese mainland analysts said are capable of seizing air superiority and command of the sea over the island of Taiwan and in the Straits.
Two H-6 bombers, eight J-16 fighters, four J-10 fighters and four J-11 fighters on Friday, and 12 J-16 fighters, two J-10 fighters, two J-11 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft on Saturday crossed the “middle line” of the Taiwan Straits, according to two press releases by Taiwan’s defense authority.
In total, only these warplanes and warships are enough to overpower Taiwan, since it’s entire fleet consists of nearly 30 surface combatants, most of them quite dated.
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