China is reportedly downplaying talks of a possible war with Taiwan after a propaganda video featuring its military demanded “enemies” to surrender now.
The video, which was shared by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), showcased training exercises performed by its 81st Group based in northern China.
“Surrender now! Hand in your weapons and you won’t be killed. We treat prisoners well!” the narrator says in the video, according to Newsweek. “Your defenses have collapsed; resistance is futile.“
While the video does not specify a particular enemy, it is believed to be targeting Taiwan, and includes translations in Hakka and Minnan — dialects spoken by some 15 million people or 65% of Taiwan’s population.
Despite the video’s message, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) downplayed the idea of a war with all of Taiwan.
“PLA training exercises target an extremely small minority of Taiwan independence separatists, their separatist activities and interference by foreign forces. They are absolutely not aimed at the vast majority of compatriots in Taiwan,” TAO spokesperson Zhu Fenglian said, according to Sohu News.
She added, “Taiwan compatriots are family whose blood is thicker than water, and we will never regard them as ‘enemies.’”
Talks of a looming war between China and Taiwan have escalated since October after Beijing increased its warplanes in Taipei’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Taiwan’s Defense Chief Chiu Kuo-cheng described the tensions as the worst he has seen in 40 years.
The ongoing conflict has forced the U.S. to state its position in the event of an all-out invasion. Last month, State Secretary Antony Blinken warned China of the “terrible consequences” if the country were to pursue such actions, noting that Washington has been “very clear and consistently clear” in its commitment to Taiwan.
Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, described China’s threatening video as “very serious” in a new interview with FRANCE 24. He said Taiwan must prepare for any Chinese military action, “whether it is an all-out invasion or a small skirmish with our military.”
The Media Outlet also reported that Wu also expects the U.S. to assist Taiwan in the event of an invasion while insisting the island should prepare to defend itself. Wu also allegedly acknowledged that Taiwan has acquired weapons in anticipation of the Chinese threat.