Beijing's state broadcaster has released footage of Chinese troops launching attacks and striking targets during a live-fire exercise at sea near Taiwan.
The dramatic video shows the People's Liberation Army launching a mock seizure of an unnamed islet in China's Fujian Province, which looks out to self-ruled Taiwan.
It emerged after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered his military, comprising about two million soldiers, to be ready for war 'at all times'.
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In a social media post, CCTV's military channel showed off a simulated snap attack, which reportedly took place 'recently' in a remote area off the coast of Minnan near Taiwan
Footage shows ground targets being blown to smithereens in the intense mock islet seizure
The news comes as political tensions between China and the United States escalate over the sovereignty of democratic Taiwan, which China considers as its own.
Washington's Ambassador to the United Nations held a virtual talk with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday, telling the island's leader that 'the United States will always stand with Taiwan'.
The meeting immediately infuriated Beijing as it warned Washington 'the attempt to challenge the one-China principle receives no support and is doomed to fail'.
China's President Xi Jinping urged his People's Liberation of Army 'not to fear death' in a mobilisation order signed by him on January 4. In this file photo, Xi speaks after he reviewed the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy fleet in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018
Washington's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft (left), held a virtual talk with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (right, file photo) on Thursday, which infuriated Beijing
China regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has stepped up threats to bring the island under its control.
Late last year, the country's state broadcaster CCTV flaunted footage of soldiers 'seizing an island' during a large-scale training session in an apparent warning to Taipei.
This week, CCTV's military channel showed off another similar military drill, which reportedly took place 'recently' in a remote area off the coast of Minnan.
In a social media post, the official outlet did not mention any relation between the training and Taiwan. However, Minnan, situated in the southern part of Fujian Province, is mainland China's closest point to the island.
According to CCTV, China's 73rd Group Army conducted the simulated snap attack on an unnamed islet off the coast of Fujian Province with 'various types of aircraft and ammunition
Footage shows soldiers getting ready to jump out of a military aircraft to land on the islet
Minnan in the southern part of Fujian Province is mainland China's closest point to Taiwan
According to CCTV, the nation's 73rd Group Army conducted the simulated snap attack with 'various types of aircraft and ammunition'.
Fighter helicopters were instructed to fly at around 20 metres (66 feet) above the sea to launch 'precise strikes' against targets on an unspecified islet during the 'super-low altitude' mimic combat, the report said.
Footage shows soldiers firing explosives from helicopters and getting ready to jump out of the aircraft to land on the islet.
It also features ground targets being blown to smithereens in the intense mock seizure.
The CCTV report followed a mobilisation order signed earlier this month by President Xi, who urged his soldiers to get themselves prepared for combat.
Xi commanded his troops to step up training in 'real combat conditions' to ensure their combat readiness and abilities to win battles. Pictured, Chinese soldiers assemble during military training at Pamir Mountains in Kashgar, northwestern China's Xinjiang region on January 4
Xi demanded all servicemen sharpen their fighting spirit and perfect their combat skills. A female soldier is pictured attending military training Pamir Mountains in Kashgar on January 4
On January 4, Xi commanded his troops to step up training in 'real combat conditions' to ensure their combat readiness and abilities to win battles, according to a script of his order released by Xinhua News Agency.
He demanded all servicemen sharpen their fighting spirit and perfect their combat skills to welcome the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China this year.
The country's two million or so soldiers reportedly 'jumped into action' upon receiving their leader's directive.
Observers suggested that Xi's latest order showed the leader's intention to boost the army's capability of winning a war at all cost.
Speaking to South China Morning Post, Hong Kong-based military commentator Song Zhongping said: 'China is indeed facing a great risk of war, which has been seriously implied in this order.'
In November, Xi urged his troops not to fear death and prepare to win wars while addressing military commanders.
US ambassador to UN and Taiwan's president meet virtually
Her trip cancelled in the final days of the Trump administration, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft instead met virtually Wednesday night with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and told her: 'The United States will always stand with Taiwan.'
And though she'll leave office with the president next week, Craft said she still hopes to visit the self-ruled island soon, calling Taiwan 'a beacon and a lodestar' for its science, technology and democracy.
The announcement last week that Craft would visit Taiwan sparked sharp criticism from China's government, which considers Taiwan a renegade province and has stepped up threats to bring the island under its control.
China quickly condemned the virtual meeting, saying, 'The United States should understand that the attempt to challenge the one-China principle receives no support and is doomed to fail,' in a statement from a spokesman for China's Mission to the UN on Twitter.
In this image made from a video screen shows Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (top) and US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft meeting virtually
American relations with Taiwan have warmed under President Donald Trump, largely due to strong bipartisan support in Congress, but also because the administration has been willing to defy Beijing's threats and promote Taiwan as an alternative to Chinese Communist Party authoritarianism.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said Craft's trip would show 'what a free China could achieve.' But on Sunday, he cancelled all senior-level overseas travels, including his own, to assist with the transition to President-elect Joe Biden's administration.
Tsai thanked Craft at the opening of the virtual meeting, which The Associated Press witnessed, 'for the staunch support for Taiwan's international participation and for your efforts to deepening of the Taiwan-US relationship and ... for always speaking up for Taiwan at the most important times.'
'The people of Taiwan have been inspired by your action,' Tsai said. 'Moving forward, we will keep pushing for our participation in the United Nations, and UN-affiliated meetings and events, and I hope that the United States will continue to support our efforts.'
Taiwan left the United Nations in 1971 when China joined, and Beijing has been using its diplomatic clout to stop Taiwan from joining any organisations that require statehood for membership.
Craft called Taiwan 'an inspiration for the world,' saying quite a number of UN member states - which she didn't name - 'should look at Taiwan, not for opportunities to exclude it, but for reasons to aspire to it.'
'In any context, by the standards of the free world, Taiwan is a model for democracy, equality for women, innovation and scientific exploration, a staunch defender of human rights,' she said.
'The United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Taiwan as pillars of democracy,' Craft added.
Tsai said she was looking for Craft's advice on how to move forward on US-Taiwan relations.
Craft told Tsai she had taught her the importance to 'never mistake the present for the determination of the future.'