After a slew of redeployments of Chinese hardware to the southern Guangdong Province were reported in the media, fears grew that Beijing might be preparing an attack on Taiwan. However, experts have noted the situation seems to suggest an increase in tensions to “a new normal,” but not a coming attack.
On the morning of October 18, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP) published an alarmist report about China “beefing” up its forces in Guangdong, especially with a rumored deployment of DF-17 hypersonic missiles to the region.
Retired PLA Maj. Gen. Wang Zaixi, former deputy director of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits of the State Council, was reported by SCMP as telling Chinese news site Guancha.cn that live-fire exercises over the weekend were “unprecedented” and “showed it [the PLA] is just one step away to actual combat.”
Chang warned of the deployment of other forces to the region, such as the Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defense system, noting both the S-400 and DF-17 could strike targets across all of Taiwan, a capability that has until now eluded the PLA.
One expert, Rand think tank senior analyst Derek Grossman, seemed to suggest Beijing was pursuing a similar policy to that used by Egypt in the months prior to the outbreak of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
“The ramp-up in Chinese military activity is also designed to frighten Taiwan into submission and to gather intelligence, such as on response times of…