Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Taiwan President Ma Expresses Displeasure Over China Military's Staged Assault on Replica of Taiwan's Presidential Palace

Taiwan Presidential Palace Attack

(Photo : REUTERS/Pichi Chuang) Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has voiced unhappiness about a staged military attack on Taiwan's Presidential Palace by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). He also highlighted several challenges to the bilateral ties between both nations during a recent interview with the BBC.

The President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou has voiced his displeasure over a video showing the People's Liberation Army (PLA) attacking a replica of Taiwan's Presidential Palace.

The video in question was aired by state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) earlier in the month. It showed PLA Special Forces attacking a replica of Taiwan's Presidential Palace. Since the video was first aired it has gone viral and led to many speculations.

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President Ma told the BBC that Taiwan must be ready for such scenarios. "But the top military strategy is to use a peace strategy not to use force," he added.

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory under the One-China Policy. The self-ruling island has defended its sovereignty since the Republic of China was established after nationalists retreated there in 1949.

There are fears that the Chinese government could revert to military force to re-establish control of Taiwan. Critics say the recent military exercise, which was reportedly staged at the Zhurihe training base in Inner Mongolia, is evidence of this threat.

Andrei Chang, founder of the Kanwa Defense Review, recently revealed to CNA that the PLA has been conducting staged attacks on replicas of strategic targets in Taiwan since last year.  He said several structures besides Taiwan's Presidential Palace had been built and construction is still ongoing.

On Thursday, Taiwan officially filed a "stern protest" with China over the simulated military drill. Taiwan's spokesperson for Mainland Affairs Council said the video roused dissatisfaction in Taiwan and could affect the ties between both nations.

But China's defense ministry has denied that the controversial drill had a specific target.

Taiwan is set to hold its next presidential elections in January 2016. At the moment, the leading candidate is Tsai Ing-wen from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party. Experts say if she wins, it is likely that there will be a change in the country's policies towards China.

Meanwhile, President Ma, who admitted that progress has been made in the relationship between both nations since he took office in 2008, has admitted that there are still several stumbling blocks.

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