Following weeks of multiple Chinese fighter jet incursions over Taiwan, the Chinese air force released a shocking video on Saturday showing bombers conducting a simulated attack “on what appears to be Andersen Air Force Base on the U.S. Pacific island of Guam,” according to Reuters.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned Saturday that China was increasing drills and other forms of military pressure with the threat of intervention. Wu said China’s crackdown in Hong Kong is a reminder that “Taiwan might be next”.
The short video, titled “The god of war H-6K goes on the attack!,” was posted on the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Weibo account, comes as the Chinese military carried out the second day of drills near Chinese-claimed Taiwan.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) said the island in the simulation video “has more than a passing resemblance to the US facility on the island of Guam.” Reuters noted the runway in the video mirrors that of Anderson’s.
PLAAF wrote in the description of the video:
“We are the defenders of the motherland’s aerial security; we have the confidence and ability to always defend the security of the motherland’s skies.”
Collin Koh, a research fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, told Reuters the propaganda video has aims to project PLAAF’s increasing long-range power.
“The video is meant to warn the Americans that even supposedly safe, rearward positions such as Guam may come under threat when conflicts over regional flashpoints, be it Taiwan or the South China Sea, erupt,” Koh said.
PLAAF’s H-6K bombers have a combat range of 3,700 miles and can carry nuclear weapons, long-range cruise missiles, and will one day be armed with hypersonic missiles.
Drew Thompson, a former US defense department official who was responsible for managing US relations with mainland China and Taiwan, told SCMP the video is a warning to surrounding countries:
“The messages put out by the People’s Republic of China propaganda machine threaten anyone who opposes [mainland] China or the Communist Party,” Thompson said. “[The footage] warns that the PLA is prepared to use force to settle differences.”
To sum up, the video is likely a powerful message to Washington: Don’t mess with Taiwan.