The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen ordered all residents to prepare emergency supplies in 72 categories, such as enough food and water for 72 hours and a fire blanket, on Oct. 13.
China’s Emergency Management Ministry and several municipal governments, such as Beijing and Tianjin, issued similar orders last month, but the news didn’t attract attention.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited marine troops stationed in Chaozhou city, about 220 miles away from Shenzhen and also in Guangdong province, and told them “to put all your thoughts and energies on preparing a war, and remain on high alert.”
Shenzhen and Chaozhou are located to the west of Taiwan.
On Oct. 18, Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post quoted a Beijing-based military source that the PLA (People’s Liberation Army, the official name of Chinese military) had deployed its most advanced missile, the DF-17, to the country’s southeast coast in preparation of a possible future invasion of Taiwan.
The Chinese regime considers Taiwan a part of its territory, despite the island being a de facto nation state with its own democratically-elected government, military, and currency. Beijing has threatened to use military force to bring the island under its fold.
The Shenzhen city government announced on Oct. 13 that the emergency supplies list was for residents to prepare for natural disasters. It gave residents two lists, one for “basic needs” and one for “complete needs.”
The former list contains 14 categories, including a flashlight with a manual hand crank generator, which can be used to charge cell phones; a breathing mask; emergency fire escape ladder; enough food and water for 72 hours; first aid kit, medicines, a raincoat that can be used as tent; multifunction scissors, and so on.
The latter has 72 categories, which include more tools, as well as one’s ID, passport, property’s ownership license, cash, and an SOS card that is written in English, in case one needs to seek help from foreigners.
U.S.-based China affairs commentator Tang Jingyuan said that the Shenzhen announcement was likely part of a propaganda strategy to intimidate Taiwan.
“It is a part of Xi Jinping’s propaganda strategy on ‘unifying Taiwan by force,’” said Tang in a phone interview.
Tang added that it’s unlikely that Beijing would start a conflict, as the Chinese regime is facing political challenges. “Politically, Xi is facing major challenges from different factions within the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese economy is in very bad shape. Taiwan has the support of the U.S., Japan, and several other developed countries, so China won’t have a stronger military force than Taiwan and its allies.”
U.S.-based Chinese democracy activist and scholar Wang Juntao told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times in an interview that he believed Xi would not start a conflict in the Taiwan Strait in the near future, but could do it before 2027.
Wang’s father was formerly a major general-ranking officer at China’s National Defense University. Wang has insider sources within the military.
“About half of the PLA senior commanders were promoted to current positions from non-combat forces in recent years, so they are not capable of commanding a real war right now,” Wang said. “Secondly, a large number of PLA weapons are newly deployed ones, such as J-20 fighters. Soldiers need time to be trained on how to use these weapons.”