It looks like the news of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Su-35 shot down by a Taiwanese ADS (Air Defense System) is fake.
The news that Taiwan brought down a Chinese Air Force Su-35 that allegedly violated its airspace over Taiwan Strait, today, are fake, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense has just commented.
Multiple videos started circulating on social media on Sept. 4, 2020, showing the burning wreckage of jet, said to be a PLAAF Su-35S allegedly shot down by Taiwan Patriot PAC-3 SAM. Reports stated also that the Chinese pilot was injured in the incident and captured by the Taiwanese military. Many media outlets have reported the news making it “viral” in a matter of hours:
BREAKING Report of a Chinese Su-35 shot by Taiwan air defence system https://t.co/emCtLmQOta
— AIRLIVE (@airlivenet) September 4, 2020
However, it looks like the news is Fake, reportedly originated in India and someone said that it was part of an Indian PSYOPS or (dis)information operation:
Below is the original press statement from Taiwan’s ministry of defence. Only in Chinese for now, but says it “solemnly refutes” the internet reports that Taiwan shot down a PLAAF SU-35 and “strongly condemns” the dissemination of fake information 1/
— Nicola Smith (@niccijsmith) September 4, 2020
In response to rumors online that claim a Chinese Su-35 fighter jet had been shot down by Taiwan air defense systems, #ROCAirForce would like to categorically state this is fake news. We urge netizens to not spread it and strongly condemn this malicious act.
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. (@MoNDefense) September 4, 2020
While we wait for further confirmations and denials, we can’t but notice that tension between China and Taiwan is already at very high levels.
“A pair of (combat-capable) aircraft carriers can squeeze the island of Taiwan from different angles. Together with the DF-21D and DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles of the PLA Rocket Force, they can lock down the island and deny possible U.S. intervention,” Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie told Global Times on commenting the departure of China’s new Shandong carrier its first combat drills.
On Sept. 1, the Taiwan MoD submitted its China Military Power Report 2020, to the Legislative Yuan for review. The report said the PLA still lacks the landing vehicles and logistics required to launch an incursion into Taiwan via the Taiwan Strait.
Here are the most interesting parts of the report, as reported by the Taipei Times.
“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) does not yet have the military capability to wage an all-out war against Taiwan, given the demanding geological environment of the Taiwan Strait, a Ministry of National Defense report said. If Beijing were to wage a war now, its combat plans could take the form of military intimidation, blockades, firepower strikes and landing operations, the report said.
The PLA could intensify its military exercises, or sail warships to waters within 24 nautical miles (45km) of Taiwan by claiming “freedom of passage” and “innocent passage,” in an attempt to generate a sense of fear among Taiwanese, it said. It could cut off Taiwan’s supplies and demand surrender by blocking Taiwan’s major ports and maritime transportation, it said.
The PLA could also launch missiles that target Taiwan’s command systems, locations of great economic and political importance, or symbolic objects, as part of efforts to gradually disintegrate Taiwanese morale, it said.
Forceful occupation of Taiwan’s outlying islands by the PLA might take place during this stage, it added. If the PLA had achieved air supremacy, command of the sea and electromagnetic spectrum dominance, and had wrecked most of Taiwan’s armed forces, its next move would likely be to send sea, air, land and rocket teams to conduct a series of attacks, such as decapitation strikes, raiding Penghu and ultimately invading Taiwan, it said.
However, its current capabilities for an all-out invasion of Taiwan are still limited, the report said, citing a lack of landing vehicles and logistics.”