Chinese military: provincial heads in unusual flurry of visits to Eastern Theater Command to support war planning

--

Chinese provincial chiefs have made a flurry of visits to the PLA command overseeing Taiwan, pledging full support for war readiness.

In the past month, three provincial-level Communist Party secretaries have made special tours to the Eastern Theater Commandmeeting its chief, General Lin Xiangyang.

As well as responsibility for the Taiwan Strait and the East China Sea, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command has authority over the military forces within these provinces.

30:18

Why Taiwan is a ‘life-or-death question’ for China: Cui Tiankai on US-China tension

Why Taiwan is a ‘life-or-death question’ for China: Cui Tiankai on US-China tension

Although the visits are not unprecedented, it is unusual to have so many in such a short time, particularly so close to Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections on January 13.

In a meeting with Lin at the command on Tuesday, Anhui party secretary Han Jun said the province would “fully support troop training and combat readiness” of the command, according to Anhui Daily newspaper.

Xi Jinping praises military branch keeping up the pressure on Taiwan

A day earlier Zhou Zuyi, party secretary of Fujian province, with Lin, saying he hoped the command could “make greater contributions to the great cause of reunification”, referring to Beijing’s goal of unifying with Taiwan.

Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China to be reunited by force if necessary. Most countries, including the United States, do not recognize Taiwan as an independent state, but Washington is opposed to any attempt to take the self-governed island by force and is committed to arming Taiwan.

On January 9, Jiangxi party secretary Yin Hong made a similar visit to the Eastern Theater Command and vowed that his province would “focus on what the troops need to prepare for and win combat”.

Yin made the trip from his province to Nanjing, Jiangsu, where the command is headquartered, according to Jiangxi Daily.

The command’s jurisdiction includes the three provinces whose heads made visits – Anhui, Fujian and Jiangxi – as well as Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces and Shanghai.

Local governments are responsible for implementing policies that support veterans and afford benefits to soldiers’ families, as well as safeguarding the status, rights and interests of military personnel.

The meetings had the theme of forging close bonds and unity between the military, local civilians and local governments, a relationship that could be traced back to the 1940s.

03:03

Taiwan simulates attack from mainland China as island’s military conscripts begin extended service

Taiwan simulates attack from mainland China as island’s military conscripts begin extended service

In the latest rounds of meetings, for example, Yin said Jiangxi authorities would steadily work on “national defense mobilization” for “military struggles” and would implement policies that benefit the soldiers.

Chinese President Xi Jinping last visited the Eastern Theater Command in July, when he said he affirmed the significant contributions the command had made and called on it to increase its abilities to fight and win.

Since August 2022 – when then US House speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, triggering the PLA’s unprecedented military exercises around the island – the Eastern Theater Command has played a big role in continuing regular exercises near the island to “enhance deterrence”.

Beijing’s changes to cross-strait flight path will ‘squeeze’ Taiwan air defense

-

NEXT Chinese BYD won De Lijn’s order purely on price, but scored significantly worse in other areas