OSINT Suggests China Massing Equipment In Province Nearest to Taiwan

As Speaker Pelosi travels across Asia in the last several days, videos have emerged of the People’s Liberation Army moving ballistic missile systems and armoured fighting vehicles around the province of Fujian, adjacent to Taiwan and separated by only the Taiwan Strait.

Over the last few hours, as Open Source Intelligence analysts confirmed Speaker Pelosi’s transport is flying to Taipei Airport, there have also been reports that a foreign cyberattack has taken down several Taiwanese governmental websites.

Joseph Wen, a Taiwanese OSINT researcher, has tweeted photos of a column of ZBD-08 combat vehicles at the port of Xiamen, only 15,6 kilometres away from a Taiwanese controlled island. A unit of DF-16 ballistic missile launchers have been reported under rail transport in Zejiang, with it being the closest DF-16 unit in the region. Similarly, railcars within the city of Xiamen have also been filmed transporting columns of tanks towards the beachhead.

Simultaneous to Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Asia, the United States Navy have deployed two America-class amphibious assault ships: USS America and Tripoli stationed around Japan’s southern waters north of Taiwan, and aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan at the northern tip of the Philipines. The Chinese Navy have, since 31 July, sent their two combat-ready carriers, the Shandong and the Liaoning, away from their homeports and sailing in the direction of Taiwan, with Researcher Duan Dang hypotheizing a potential dual-carrier exercise in the Taiwan Strait.

In response of the visit, Chinese officials have, as previously reported, issued serious complaints regarding the arrangement, believing it to be a violation of their claims on the island and giving legitimacy to the current government of Taiwan and its population.

Taiwan’s military also recently completed a major anti-invasion exercise. Chinese state media, unburdened with diplomatic protocols, have made even more ergreious statements, calling for sending fighter jets to intercept and harass Speaker Pelosi’s flight, and shooting down the aeroplane if necessary. One government-associated Weibo account have posted a message of “Prepare for War”, garnering tens of thousands of likes on the Chinese social media site. The build up of Chinese forces and assets appears to be a wholesale effort to dissuade Pelosi’s visit.