An unusual and massive military exercise has been going on in China, and it seems to have had purposes that are more political than military.
“Firepower-2014″ kicked off on July 15, and 10 consecutive live ammunition drills across military regions were launched by the Chinese People’ Liberation Army. In the meantime, the Navy and the Air Force also mobilized to participate in the exercises in the Beibu Gulf, Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, and East China Sea.
With the participation of the three armed forces and the troops from the six military regions, the exercise was dubbed as an unprecedented “Massive Military Exercise of the Three Armed Forces in Four Seas.”
In terms of the time period, it is also unprecedented, as it started in July and will continue until the end of September. In addition, part of the exercise, such as the drills in the waters of northeast Jiangsu Province, will continue until Nov. 20.
This series of military exercises began during a time of a relative relaxation of tensions in East Asia. Compared to some recent periods, the South China Sea and East China Sea were relatively calm. China’s drilling platform 981 retreated from off Vietnam’s shore. Since last December, the activities conducted by Chinese ships and military planes in the waters off Diaoyu Islands (called Senkaku Islands by Japan) were substantially reduced.
Under these circumstances, China’s massive military exercise doesn’t seem to target any foreign enemies, or it doesn’t seem solely to target foreign enemies.
On July 29, during the large-scale military exercises, the Xi Jinping regime unexpectedly made public the long-pending case against Zhou Yongkang, the former domestic security czar and diehard loyalist to former CCP head Jiang Zemin. After obtaining relatively safe reactions from society, the well-wrought, ruthless exposure and denunciation of Zhou Yongkang were then published on Chinese mass media one after another.
On July 30, the day after the Zhou Yongkang case was announced, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection sent a high-profile inspection team to station in Shanghai until the end of September.
On Aug. 11, the chairman of the Shanghai Bright Food Group, Wang Zongnan, was arrested. The Group’s predecessor was the Shanghai Yimin Food Factory, and Jiang Zemin was the first deputy director of the factory.
The “Massive Military Exercise of Three Armed Forces in Four Seas” is more like a struggle against domestic enemies. Those domestic enemies are by no means the Muslim Uyghurs. Despite the fact that tension between Uyghurs and the Chinese authorities has escalated recently, there’s no need to launch such a massive national military mobilization.
In other words, the military exercise, while on the surface aiming at foreign enemies, in fact aims at domestic enemies. The large-scale military exercise was launched to prevent the revolt of domestic forces. With support from the high-profile inspection team from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CCP and the three armed forces, Xi Jinping is planning to do something extraordinary.
In July, many domestic flights were cancelled with no advance notice or very short notice, and the authorities initially said the cancellations were due to military exercises. Later, the excuse changed to weather conditions. The inconsistency indicated that someone was hiding something.
The majority of the cancelled flights were on the route between Beijing and Shanghai. Beijing is the capital of China, and Shanghai is China’s largest city. The large number of cancellations on several occasions caused significant losses, both economically and socially.
Excuses such as weather conditions and military exercises are not justifiable. People cannot help but wonder what the real reasons were.
This series of events suggests China may have experienced some form of coup involving Beijing and Shanghai. It could have been a failed attempt to overthrow Xi that has been put down or a move from Xi’s camp to get rid of Jiang’s political force.
Xi’s move might be faster than people expected, but these moves may not have been his original intention. Circumstances may have pushed him to move faster, or someone may have forced him to do so. Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan should know well that in a power struggle, pre-emptive moves have advantages. It can be expected that more exciting plays are coming up for Chinese politics.
Full article: China May Have Undergone Some Kind of Coup (The Epoch Times)