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China builds replicas of Taiwan targets with 2016 in mind: expert

Taipei, July 24 (CNA) The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has made more physical mock-ups of strategic targets in Taiwan for simulated attacks since 2014, which suggests Beijing has stepped up its "preparations for a military struggle" with Taiwan, an expert on the Chinese military said Friday.
China has increased the preparations because the Beijing government is concerned about "potentially drastic changes in Taiwan's political situation" after a presidential election in January 2016, said Andrei Chang, also known as Pinkov, founder of the Canadian-based Kanwa Defense Review.
Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is a front-runner in the presidential race and, if elected, is expected to adopt a less conciliatory position toward China than incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou.
Earlier this week, Chinese state-run TV showed a building similar to Taiwan's Presidential Office being stormed by PLA troops in a military exercise, leading some experts to believe the series of drills may be staged on the premise of "resolving the Taiwan issue with force."
The footage and related media reports prompted Taiwan's government to convey a "serious protest" to China.
In addition to the Presidential Office, Pinkov said surrounding buildings and roads were replicated as well, including Ketagalan Boulevard, two parking lots in front of the Presidential Office, a building similar to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among others.
According to Pinkov, all the replicas were copied in great detail.
To prove his point, he provided CNA with a satellite image showing a building in the shape of a bisected rectangle, just like the Presidential Office in downtown Taipei.
Furthermore, Pinkov said, elevated highway sections were constructed in another simulated area of Taipei for urban combat drills with the goal of paralyzing traffic in Taipei by taking control of the highways.
The work to build more replicas of strategic targets is still ongoing, he added. (By Charles Kang and Ken Chao)


Updated : 2021-09-23 15:16 GMT+08:00