China’s air force released a propaganda video Thursday showing bomber aircraft patrolling the island as another warning for the country’s democratic government to toe the line with Beijing.
The video, released via the air force’s Weibo account, shows H-6K bombers flying over the South China Sea and around Taiwan.
“A powerful nation must have comparable forces capable of safeguarding its sovereignty and security,” says the video’s narrator in Hokkien, a language that remains closely tied to Taiwan’s pro-independence movement.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) April 20, 2018
The language, which originates from China’s southeastern province of Fujian, remains the most widely spoken language in Taiwan and is also spoken by many ethnically Han Chinese communities in parts of Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.
In response, Taiwan’s air force released their own video on its Facebook page, showing Taiwan’s US-made F-16 jets and French Mirage fighters taking off as their pilots to discuss their combat capabilities.
“We have the confidence and the strength to defend the country’s democracy and freedom!” the Taiwan Air Force says its in introductory remarks for the video.
In recent years, China has conducted dozens of military exercises as a warning to Taiwan over increasing efforts from independence leaders to declare full independence from China.
Despite having considerable independence from China in that Taiwan has its own democratically elected government and state infrastructure, growing calls for full independence have angered authorities in Beijing, who claim the island is part of China’s territory and viewing it solely as a breakaway province that will soon come back under their control.
Last December, Chinese embassy minister Li Kexin even warned Taiwanese officials on Friday that Beijing would use “military force” over plans to allow U.S. Navy ships into its ports, as a violation of the country’s Anti-Secession Law.
China recently expressed its anger over the passing of the Taiwan Travel Act through the U.S. Congress, which allows high-level diplomatic engagement between Taiwanese and American officials as well as unrestricted travel between the two countries.
“If it is passed and put into effect, it will cause serious disturbances to Sino-U.S. relations and the situation in the Taiwan Strait,” warned Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang last month.
“China is extremely dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to this and has already lodged stern representations with the U.S. side,” he continued. “The ‘One China’ principle is the political basis of Sino-U.S. relations.”