The Times of India is reporting on an alleged unprecedented leak of audio of a top-secret meeting of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Party leaders which took place on May 14 discussing detailed plans for an attack on Taiwan.
While unconfirmed by western intelligence or other officials, the paper notes that some experts say the audio clip appears authentic. The conservative news site ‘Hot Air’ is also reporting on this hot topic.
This leak could be part of a reported power struggle in Beijing ahead of the 20th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) congress later this year. Some China watchers believe Party Chairman and President of China, Xi Jinping, could be facing challenges to his increasingly totalitarian power.
The congress will decide a slew of new leaders, including the General Secretary of the CCP, and seven to nine members of the standing committee of the Politburo, which forms the core of Communist China’s party-state for the next five years.
Regardless of the motive, if authenticated, this recording would be the first time since the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949 that a recording of a top-secret meeting of a military command has been leaked.
According to the Times, the recording, posted on the Lude Media YouTube channel, shows that the meeting was steered by the hybrid leadership of the critical Guangdong Military District which includes senior military commanders as well as CCP officials.
Among the military leaders, Zhou He, major general of the PLA and commander of the Guangdong Military Region is reportedly heard, as is Wang Shouxin, standing committee member of Guangdong Provincial Committee, political commissar of Guangdong Military District.
The purported goal of the meeting was to plan the orderly transition from peacetime to war conditions, military planning and mobilization.
The audio reportedly shows numerous persons involved in the discussions which go into highly specific details on units, capabilities, and requirements.
Among the details, the audio notes the need for sixty-four 10,000-ton roll-on/roll-off ships, 38 aircraft, 588 train cars, for transport in the district, and the presence of “20 airports and docks, 6 repair and shipbuilding yards.”
They also mention their reliance on Zhuhai Orbita, Shenzhen Aerospace Dongfanghong Satellite Co., Foshan Deliya and Ji Hua Laboratory, for satellite coverage.
According to the Times, the audio even notes that they now have “16 low-orbit satellites, with 0.5 to 10 meters global remote ultra-high optical resolution sensing and imaging capabilities.”
Significantly, the PLA appears particularly concerned with the security of the Pearl River Delta area in the Guangdong province which contains much of China’s manufacturing and tech centers that would be vital in supporting any invasion of Taiwan.
The district includes Guangzhou, a world class trading hub, and Shenzhen, the hi-tech capital of China where Huawei and Tencent are based.
Determining whether this leaked audio is authentic will be key in the coming days. But as important as the dangerous war plans presented in the audio, is the political motives for leaking it.
This could signify serious turmoil in Beijing – making the next months even more dangerous.
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