BEIJING (Reuters) – China's Air Force has released a propaganda film dubbed in Hokkien, a language strongly identified with Taiwan's independence movement, showing bomber planes involved in patrolling the self-governing island.
China has sent ever tighter warnings to Democratic Taiwan, including increased military presence and flying bomber patrols around the island to stem Beijing's efforts to preserve the island's formal independence.
China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory, and the subject of Taiwan is extremely sensitive in Beijing.
In the latest salvo fired by China, the Luftwaffe revealed on its Weibo account on Thursday afternoon a Hokkien version of an earlier video titled "God of War," the H-6K bomber over the South China Sea shows near Taiwan.
"A powerful nation must have comparable powers that are able to guarantee its sovereignty and security," the voice-over states.
Hokkien is native to China's southeastern Fujian province and is the native language of most people in Taiwan, where it is also known as Taiwanese or Hoklo. It is also spoken by many ethnic Chinese communities in Southeast Asia.
Hokkien has little official support in China, where the government has been forcing the use of Mandarin for decades and rarely receives public platforms.
In Taiwan, however, the language is widely used in public, including in parliament, as a symbol of the island's distinctiveness, as opposed to Mandarin, the official language of Taiwan and China.
On Friday, the Taiwan Air Force published a much craftier video on its Facebook page, exposing Taiwan's US-made F-1
"We have the confidence and the strength to defend democracy and the freedom of the country!", The Taiwanese Air Force says in an opening words to the video.
A Taiwanese defense official speaking on the condition of anonymity told Reuters they were aware of China's Hokkien video, but it was too far-fetched to say that their film had been published in response.
"We have always made films to show the good face of the military, as is the case in all countries," the official said.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Judy Peng in TAIPEI; Arrangement by Robert Birsel