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China releases TV documentary showcasing military readiness to invade Taiwan

China unveiled the "Chasing Dreams" docuseries showcasing the People's Liberation Army’s preparation to invade the democratic, self-ruled island of Taiwan.

China has released a new documentary showcasing its military readiness to invade Taiwan, featuring testimony from Beijing’s soldiers pledging that they would be willing to die to take over the democratic island. 

The first installment of "Chasing Dreams," an eight-part docuseries by state broadcaster CCTV, aired earlier this week to mark the People's Liberation Army’s 96th anniversary. It features footage of military drills, particularly those around Taiwan, and dramatic testimonials by dozens of soldiers. 

"My fighter jet would be my last missile, rushing towards the enemy if in a real battle I had used up all my ammunition," said Li Peng, a pilot from Wang Hai Squadron under the military’s Eastern Theatre Command, responsible for carrying out operations in the Taiwan Strait, according to The Telegraph. 

"If war broke out and the conditions were too difficult to safely remove the naval mines in actual combat, we would use our own bodies to clear a safe pathway for our (landing) forces," a man identified as Zuo Feng, a frogman with the PLA navy’s minesweeper unit, reportedly said in the film. 


Fan Lizhong, a special tactics unit commander, said in the docuseries that while losing comrades is painful, he has to remain calm to respond to emergencies and always be ready to fight.

The documentary showcased, among other things, the PLA’s "Joint Sword" drills, which simulated precision strikes against Taiwan. The exercises were undertaken around the self-governed island in April after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visited the United States, where she met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other U.S. officials despite threats from Beijing. 

The docuseries also features Shandong, one of China’s three aircraft carriers, sailing in formation with several other warships. 

The PLA has repeatedly dispatched Shandong to the Taiwan Strait over the past few months as a threat to Taiwan. PLA jets have also crossed the strait’s median line – an informal demarcation zone between China and Taiwan – relatively often over the past couple of years, especially in reaction to exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S. that have angered Beijing.

"I would like to go and see the other side of the Strait," Wang Xinjie, a member of the amphibious assault group, said in the documentary, according to the South China Morning Post. "I have been preparing for that day." 


The documentary also reportedly reiterates a message, "The centennial goal of the PLA must be realized." Some U.S. observers have surmised that China plans to invade Taiwan by 2027, the deadline for the PLA’s centennial goal of becoming a world-class military, a period named the Davidson window, according to the South China Morning Post. 

That timeline has been called into question as relations between Washington and China plummet and concerns persist over Russian and China’s growing relations. 

"If there is a day I could really feel proud of myself, I think it would be when our country is reunified," 27-year-old Li Yuantong, said to be one of the PLA air force’s youngest air mission commanders, remarked in the documentary. 

The film reportedly showed Li singing, "My war eagle is flying around the Treasure Island," a patriotic Eastern Theatre Command song about its Taiwan patrols, from a J-16 fighter cockpit. 

China claims Taiwan as its own territory, to be conquered by force if necessary. 

While the U.S. does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country, it has pledged to help the island defend itself in case of an invasion. Last month, the White House announced a $345 million military aid package for Taiwan – a move experts said drew lessons from U.S. military aid to Ukraine. 

The Telegraph cited Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense as having said Sunday that 20 Chinese military aircraft were detected around the island, including 10 that crossed the median line of the 110-mile-wide Taiwan Strait or entered the southwest area of its air defense identification zone. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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