China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers assemble during military training at the Pamir Mountains in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China, on January 4, 2021. The PLA’s bellicose rhetoric against self-ruled Taiwan led Beijing to downplay the military’s fighting talk during a press conference on January 12, 2022. STR/AFP
A Chinese official downplayed more nationalistic war talk from the country’s military on Wednesday after a viral video—seen to be directed at Taiwan—told “enemy” forces to put down their weapons and surrender to Beijing.
Propaganda footage shared by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 81st Group Army, based in north China, featured a large-scale training exercise dated January 4. A female narrator promised preferential treatment to any prisoners of war.
“Surrender now! Hand in your weapons and you won’t be killed. We treat prisoners well!” the commentary said. “Your defenses have collapsed; resistance is futile.”
The viral video—carried by local media including China’s official press agency Xinhua on January 5—was recorded in Mandarin Chinese, but the phrases were also repeated in Hakka and Minnan, two Chinese dialects spoken by a combined 15 million people—or some 65 percent—of Taiwan’s population.
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WNU Editor: China is not toning down its war talk.