In a recently aired documentary series titled “Zhu Meng” or “Chasing Dreams,” China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers showcased their unwavering commitment to their country, pledging to sacrifice themselves if necessary for an attack on Taiwan. The eight-episode series, aired on state broadcaster CCTV, marks the PLA’s 96th anniversary and served as a platform for Beijing to send strong signals about its preparation for potential action.
The documentary shed light on the personal stories of numerous PLA soldiers and featured extensive footage of military exercises, particularly those focused on Taiwan. Notably, a pilot in a stealth fighter jet, Li Peng, expressed a readiness to carry out a suicide attack, declaring, “My fighter would be my last missile, rushing towards the enemy if in a real battle I had used up all my ammunition.”
Other soldiers, like Zuo Feng from the PLA Navy’s minesweeper unit, conveyed a similar determination, stating, “If war broke out and the conditions were too difficult to safely remove the naval mines in actual combat, we will use our own bodies to clear a safe pathway for our landing forces.”
The series highlighted the PLA’s ambitions to achieve its centennial goal, emphasizing the significance of the military’s readiness to act “at any second.” Notably, the Joint Sword exercise, conducted around Taiwan in April, received significant attention in the documentary. Wang Xinjie, a member of the PLA’s amphibious assault group, practiced a group charge with comprehensive fire support, showcasing the PLA’s preparedness for various combat scenarios.
The documentary also featured footage of the PLA’s Shandong aircraft carrier releasing J-15 jet fighters in attack formation while sailing through the Taiwan Strait earlier in the year, further amplifying the tensions surrounding the island.
Amid these developments, the situation in Taiwan remains highly delicate and contested. Beijing continues to regard Taiwan as a breakaway province, expressing a steadfast commitment to reclaim it using force if necessary. Conversely, most countries, including the United States, do not officially recognize Taiwan as an independent state and advocate for maintaining the status quo without resorting to military aggression. The current scenario underscores the ongoing complexities and sensitivities of the China-Taiwan conflict.