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Taiwan: what else will China do after Joint Sword-2024A?

"Now we have an absolute advantage in the Taiwan Strait, and it's called an overwhelming advantage... Once the hard destruction capability is combined with other attack capabilities in a real combat situation, we will be able to achieve ultimate victory in a short period of time with the force of lightning." Real ammunition will be used next time, said a Chinese military expert. "An escalation of countermeasures is underway. The so-called "strait center line" that Taiwan has repeatedly emphasized no longer exists, and the previously restricted waters are already an empty concept. Therefore, each counterattack further narrows the playing space for Taiwan independence...It might be a normal "attack the island" situation.”


On May 24, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the Eastern Theater of Operations (ETO) continued to carry out exercise "Joint Sword-2024A" around the island of Taiwan, linking inside and outside the island chain to test the ability of joint takeover, joint attacks and domination of key areas.


This map was released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and shows PLA incursions around the island.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on May 24 that the military action is aimed at combating the arrogance of "Taiwan independence." "Our countermeasures will be pushed one step forward until the realization of the complete reunification of the motherland. The complete reunification of the motherland will be achieved." he concluded.


What other actions will China take against the forces of "Taiwan independence"?

Interviewed by Observer.com Du Wenlong said the exercise of the 24th wielded three heavy fists, the first is called the coordination of ships and aircraft, the second is called the assault on the sea, and the third is called the attack on land.


Cooperation among the armed forces involved in the island encirclement operation stopped one step below the status of effective combat cooperation, he said.


"Judging from the footage of the entire exercise, including the video, first of all the range of ship-aircraft coordination was located on the east side of the island, and the ship-aircraft coordination was tested effectively through surface formations and assaults joint aircraft.Because ship-aircraft coordination in a large area is very complicated, we must find targets to determine the target, and we must jointly attack the target. Therefore, if we can jointly operate on two lines and two spaces, it shows that the Our ability to control targets in remote maritime areas, including damage capabilities, has reached a very high level. This collaboration is coordination in real combat."


"Second, assaults at sea. Against targets at sea, including now several destroyers, frigates and other formations, the target is a moving target. The first thing is to locate the target efficiently and track it accurately; the second is the joint use of different weapons and equipment, far, medium and close, high, medium and low for combinations, so this kind of attack action is very high intensity."


"Third, land attack is also important if the targets on the island, for example, some anti-ship missile positions and other armaments, will have an impact on landings and so on. Then, of course, this kind of three-dimensional joint ship-to-air attack operation that we have can have a very good suppression effect."


Why didn't they use live ammunition?


"First, the theater is too close. If you look at the area of this exercise, the five-point deployment is very close to Taiwan, some call it "one step", and some use "several nautical miles" to describe it at such a close distance. If you point the gun at the opponent's head, it doesn't matter whether the shot is accurate or not, he can almost kill you with one shot. So from this point of view, in this kind of close, oppressive action, if live ammunition is used, the effect must be very shocking.", said Du Wenlong.


"Second, too much. From many perspectives, almost all of Taiwan's military capabilities are tied together with strings. In this state it is not too important to use knives or guns. The central point here is the object of our exercise. When we enter, surround and block, we cut all the surrounding blood vessels. In this state, it is equivalent to strangling the opponent's throat, wait, what action to take next, this is our freedom. But don't worry, there will definitely be live ammunition, because our exercises usually involve real troops, equipment, ammunition and explosions. I think the next step will be as the exercises gradually progress, including the needs of various projects, live ammunition will definitely be indispensable. If necessary, everything can be satisfied. Now we call it freedom of fire."


This time it was a precise joint sea, land, air and fire exercise, with the Eastern Theater Command announcing the conduct of a joint seizure operation of global control of the battlefield.


How should this concept be interpreted?

Du Wenlong said that this kind of military operation on Taiwan has rarely been seen before. “It means that we have to seize all the necessary control rights on the battlefield. We have already heard that they are called sea control, air control and land control. Now, if there were combat operations in the direction of the Taiwan Strait, it could be much more complicated than you imagine, including electromagnetic energy control, network control etc. in addition to these three powers. If all the control elements can be captured in the entire battlefield space, this can play a particularly important role in controlling the battlefield situation, including the conduct of various combat operations." the military expert said.


According to Du Wenlong, the reason why we talk about all-encompassing power at this time is due to two considerations:


  • "First, we have the capacity to seize. Previously, whether it's equipment capacity or overall capacity, if it's relatively limited, the ability to seize all the rights in this way is not very great, but now we have an absolute advantage in the Taiwan Strait, and it's called crushing advantage, which is a particularly accurate word. So from this point of view, we have the ability to fight for more rights in the Taiwan Strait airspace and maritime area, and with similar blows and striking effects, our combat operations will be very smooth."

  • "The second thing is that it is necessary to seize, because if we really fight, with such a small island and such a small maritime area, we can first of all compress the combat space, and if we can get control of all the different elements, there is a possibility that the various capabilities of the Taiwanese military will be significantly limited. For example, with the seizure of air control, Taiwan's planes can't get up; with the seizure of maritime control, Taiwan's navy may not be able to act at all; and then with the seizure of network rights control, electromagnetic rights control, Taiwan's missiles, including precision guidance and all kinds of cyber weapons will have no way to be used, a pile of scrap metal, may be the battlefield space rapidly compressed. In addition, the time can be compressed, through the joint takeover, can make the island of Taiwan all current combat forces, including its former boast of missiles, ships, etc., so that its combat capability is reduced to a very low state. If we analyze from the perspective of the right to control information and electromagnetic power, then many of Taiwan's previous equipment, including the concept of "wide range," are no longer valid. Once the hard destruction capability is combined with other attack capabilities in a real combat situation, we will be able to achieve ultimate victory in a short period of time with the force of lightning."


The progress of exercise "Joint Sword-2024A" compared with the previous exercise in August 2022


Du Wenlong believes that the first step is to test his ability to hit quickly. "Many people said that the exercise was too fast and there was no time or place. The exercise was carried out immediately, which shows that we are well prepared. If it can be launched quickly and an array of siege in the surrounding area, this shows that our operational preparations, including various support tasks, are in place and everything is based on real combat. This means that any storm caused by future Taiwan independence forces can be eliminated as soon as possible possible."


The second is to test the replayability, says the military expert. "The fact that there are currently 5 points, and that there are more than before, also shows that we can concentrate the heavy blows of different services and weapons at each point to conduct a joint assault, so the "joint sword" is very sharp . Through the deployment of different points, including various combat plans and the selection of various combat targets, we can create damage and paralysis capabilities at critical moments."


The third test is the ability to play skillfully, he says. "This 'skill' is an intelligent 'skill'." For example, high-end weapons and equipment are used in large quantities around Taiwan and intensively deployed in Taiwan, as is some so-called 'aid'. If power is taken and controlled through the Internet and electromagnetism, the opponent's equipment cannot be used. Therefore, the size of fighter planes, missiles and ships seems acceptable, but if they use intelligent strike capabilities, there is no way for these weapons and equipment to take off or function."


“So, from this point of view, we first tested the capabilities inside and outside the island and the outlying island chain, just like a sandwich. In addition, we also conducted multi-point operations between the outlying islands and the main island. Before we had no operations in Kinmen, Matsu, including Wuqiu and Dongyin Islands. Now it is a joint operation, a joint operation between military and coast guard, and it is an integrated island with outlying islands and one island. main integrated with external islands. This situation represents an important step forward compared to the past."


Wu Qian, spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense, said on the 24th that this operation aimed to combat the arrogance of "Taiwan independence" and aimed to discourage interference from external forces, which was completely reasonable, legal , legitimate and necessary .


Military expert Su Xiaohui said that the signal from the Ministry of National Defense's statement is very clear. "The first thing to underline is that we have the determination and ability to safeguard the fundamental interests of the country, including the firm safeguarding of national unity and territorial integrity."


"Talking about the arrogance of the 'Taiwan independence' forces, the first thing we think of is Lai Qingde's 'May 20' speech, but this is not an isolated and random event. In recent years, the 'Taiwan independence' forces of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party government have consistently provoked and undermined national interests. In this process, there is also a feeling of being tested. What is being tested is the mainland's reaction, including the type of actions that the People's Liberation Army will take."


"The information released by the Ministry of National Defense this time emphasizes that every time a move or provocation occurs, we must take countermeasures, and the countermeasures must be continuously intensified and updated. In other words, for this kind of action, China will still have many reserve moves in the future, and there will be series of punch combinations that can be executed. Using such method to effectively counter the forces of 'Taiwan independence', we also warn external forces not to always stir up the situation around. to China, including constant interference in China's internal affairs. This will inevitably result in the payment of a price in the end the gains will outweigh the losses." Su Xiaohui added.


"An escalation of countermeasures is underway. The so-called "strait center line" that Taiwan has repeatedly emphasized no longer exists, and the previously restricted waters are already an empty concept. Therefore, each counterattack further narrows the playing space for Taiwan independence,” Du Wenlong said.

Du Wenlong said that judging from the various exercises and training conducted by the People's Liberation Army around the Taiwan Strait, the situation has long been normalized, and now it is simply the new normal.


"From 1996 to 2002 to the current “Joint Sword” exercise, there are probably different levels of normalization. The first is to go around the island. Whether aircraft carriers, fighter planes or bombers, training around the island is very frequent. In the past, they circled back and forth, in different directions, forming a strict array. Siege training has now been formed. From the blocking and sealing of the platform, including some exercises, the normalized siege formation in the surrounding area was basically formed. It is conducted frequently and with high intensity at different points in the surrounding area. This is the crux of the matter. Now, it might be a normal "attack the island" situation. The existence of our various military services, including weapons and equipment, proves that if something happens, we can launch a siege array around the island of Taiwan, which cannot "take another step." It becomes a normalized statement."


"Our exercise operations will be intensified and will continue, the expert specified."

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