The Chronicle

China’s invasion rehearsal rolls on


BEIJING: The Chinese military has used the largest roll-on, roll-off passenger ferry in Asia to transport more than 1000 troops and hundreds of vehicles in an exercise interprete­d as a rehearsal for a possible attack on Taiwan.

Footage televised by China’s state broadcaste­r showed a 45,000-tonne civilian ferry named the Chinese Rejuvenati­on being loaded with military personnel and equipment for an overnight voyage of almost 600 miles.

An assault force, including Type 96 battle tanks, Type 04 infantry fighting vehicles, and medical, command and support staff boarded the ferry in a sequence “based on combat tasks” so that troops were ready to fight when they disembarke­d, China Central Television said.

The Chinese military has amphibious landing ships but is testing how civilian vessels could deploy personnel and equipment to the battlefiel­d, an unnamed expert told Global Times, a Communist Party-run newspaper.

Taiwan’s defence ministry has simulated an attack from the People’s Liberation Army, predicting that China could deploy two aircraft carriers and a 40,000-tonne amphibious attack ship while firing more than 1000 missiles to paralyse the island’s political, military and economic centres. It told Central News Agency, Taiwan’s state news agency, there was no “winning or losing” result.

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