Chinese Fighter Says It Looked Down on Penghu 共軍越中線常態化 還發布俯瞰澎湖影片

People's Liberation Army fighters and warships crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait has become the new normal. The Eastern Theater Command recently released a video that talked about fighters looking down at Penghu.

China has stepped up its maneuvers around Taiwan in recent weeks, and it is now normal for fighters and warships to cross the median line of the Taiwan Strait. On Aug. 15, the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theater Command released a video showing troops engaged in combat drills in the seas and skies around Taiwan. One pilot spoke about looking down on Penghu from above. In response, the Air Force said no Chinese fighters have approached Penghu.

Tung Pei-lun, Deputy Chief of Staff, Air Force Command: “China's exaggeration of how close it got to us in Penghu is cognitive warfare. Those are not facts.”

The military said this is an example of cognitive warfare. Previously, the Chinese military had issued footage about looking down on the Central Mountain Range and the main island's coastline. Taiwan's military had also refuted those reports. Scholars said China is using "combo punches." It's combining real and fake images of exercises directed at Taiwan to make it hard for people to distinguish between them and destroy morale.

Sheu Jyh-shyang, Asst. Research Fellow, INDSR: “Fake photos or videos are passed off as genuine. Sometimes we can tell they're fake based on some details. However, a lot of the time, those who receive the information are duped because they trust the mobile platform or because the footage they view online is unclear. This is a common tactic that they use in a propaganda war, as part of their cognitive warfare.”

Recent Chinese exercises were a direct response to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. China also announced exercises and patrols around Taiwan would continue on Aug. 16. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post reported that Pelosi's trip set off a new wave of U.S.-China electronic warfare, and China was the loser. It also said Taiwan's Leshan Radar Station was able to follow the trajectories of the missiles fired by China. In response, the Ministry of National Defense said it uses joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to effectively follow the movements of China's military.