Recently, General He Weidong, a top Chinese general, said he wanted a crackdown on “fake combat capabilities” in the military, which experts linked either to high corruption in the PLA or not meeting the military standards. 

According to a report in Hong Kong-based SCMP quoting experts, the comments could relate to the recent exposés on acquisition infractions within the PLA and would have implications on the quality of military hardware and the PLA’s performance on the battleground. Another expert said the General appeared to be referring to the procurement of defective weapons, which could impact the PLA’s combat capabilities.

However, other experts say “fake combat capabilities” could also refer to fake military exercises that do not meet the expected standards but are labeled as successful.

It is no secret that China’s top military ambition is the annexation of Taiwan, where the PLA is anticipated to fight not just Taiwan but also massive American forces supported by Japan. The top commander, according to EurAsian Times experts, could be referring to both as China’s PLA is plagued by corruption and its weapons are massively hyped by the state-sponsored media.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has authorized its commanders to use lethal military force on intruding Chinese warplanes that cross its aerial and maritime territorial borders. China has been sending jets and drones past the ‘median line’ over the last two years in a bid to challenge and wear down the Taiwanese military.

Classifying the military move as a “first strike,” Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has authorized commanders to take appropriate action when they deem that an enemy aircraft or ship poses a threat to its sovereign territory.

Beijing’s regular incursions by its jets, bombers, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and now the median line send a strong message: China considers Taiwan’s airspace its own.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long said Taiwan is a part of the mainland and dismisses its claim as being an independent country. The aerial incursions are an attempt to normalize the narrative that sending planes into one’s sovereign region is not illegal or an act of aggression.

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