After Taiwan received a video of Chinese military jets and bombers flying over the self-ruled island’s landmarks as a New Year gift from Beijing, it wasted no time in firing back with a hawkish clip of its own.
China’s original three-and-half minute video, entitled “My War Eagles Fly Around Formosa” (Taiwan’s former name), was released by the People’s Liberation Army on Sunday.
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It was made up of impressive shots of Chinese warplanes and panoramas of Taiwan’s most famous sights, including the 509-meter-tall Taipei 101 tower, Sun Moon Lake and Ali Mountain.
As H-6 bombers, J-20 stealth fighters and other aircraft performed aerial maneuvers, the song in the background urged the islanders to “return, reunite” with mainland China.
The video didn’t go unnoticed in Taiwan, which has been under self-rule since 1949 and doesn’t seem too eager to “reunite” with Beijing. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry then ‘retaliated’ with a video message of its own.
The clip, called “Freedom Isn’t Free,” packed the most impressive shots from the island military’s drills last year, featuring live firing by tanks, planes, helicopters and warships. The one-and-a-half-minute footage warned China that the Taiwanese forces “we are ready to protect, defend, guard” their land “24/7.”
To make itself even more clear, the Defense Ministry in Taipei issued a statement on Facebook, saying that “many men and women serving in the armed forces will miss New Year’s Eve dinners with their families, but they will not be absent from standing guard to protect the country.”
The video battle erupted shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping called Taiwan’s return to China “inevitable.” While a Chinese general warned that Beijing will have no choice but to use force if the island formally declares independence from China or if the US tries intervening in the dispute.
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