Missiles, missiles, and more missiles is how it begins when Chinese media conglomerate Tencent made a five-and-a-bit minute computer animated video of a massive People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invasion of a tropical island.
Among the first projectiles launched are Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles, which are followed by CJ-20 Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACMs) that are fired from jet bombers. And then there are more missiles.
The PLA’s missiles wipe-out both an unnamed airbase, and a naval fleet but — if you know your military hardware — you’ll recognize the equipment being destroyed are American, i.e. a F-22 Raptor fighter jet, and an aircraft carrier that basically looks like a Nimitz-class.
Beyond the missile fetish, there is plenty more of the PLA’s latest hardware on sea, and land, and in the air.
Bombastically it ends with the PLA raising the blood-red communist flag over a bombed out enemy base, on an island somewhere. See the video below here:
It might be a silly video, but it did not go unnoticed.
“While videos have previously surfaced showing PLA soldiers storming a replica of the Taiwanese presidential palace, this video marks a rare occasion of PLA forces specifically targeting simulated U.S. military facilities,” wrote Lauren Dickey a research associate for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“Looking beyond the obvious element of domestic Chinese consumption, the simulation sends an aggressive, startling signal to the U.S. defense community,” she said.
Now, some may ‘pooh-who’ Dickey’s comments and say it is just a cartoon trying to cash-in on some ultra nationalistic fervor, but the mindset of the video closely matches a lot of rhetoric coming out of Beijing, and its media, especially regarding a range of territorial disputes it has with some of its neighbors who are allied with the U.S.
Bottom line for me is that this video — like others — is just another tool that mentally prepares the Chinese for the possibility of war over those territorial disputes (i.e. take your pick from Taiwan, South China Sea atolls or the uninhabited Senkaku islands/Diaoyu islands).
Plus it always helps to have a distraction when there is an economic meltdown or some serious party infighting.
Either way the PLA are currently training for an invasion of Taiwan and as Dickey mentioned they have been holding training drills at a base that mimics Taipei. So is war coming or is it all bluster? Find out on this episode of China Uncensored below:
At the very least it is clear the military video fantasy is not on the party’s list of topics that are deemed off limits. If you do a bit of research on YouTube, you’ll find a lot more similar computer animated videos showing the PLA blowing things up similar to the above.
It might be a while until anyone inside China – at least while the party remains in control — can make an animated video featuring taboo subjects, such as Tibet or the peaceful Falun Gong spiritual movement. But until then blowing up things, and annoying the neighbors is a-okay in China.
Outside the world of make-believe, there were plenty of the PLA’s missiles on display at the recent military parade in Beijing that commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, including some that were previously closely guarded.
See what ranges these missiles have in the graphic below put together by Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence firm.