Satellite photos released over the weekend revealed the presence of a full-scale model of the Taiwanese presidential palace at a Chinese military base, The Drive reported.
In the satellite photos, the images revealed that China’s Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base, which is the largest of its kind, has a replica of Taiwan’s presidential palace so that the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could conduct storming exercises.
While conducting urban warfare in mock towns is standard procedure for most militaries, the replica of the Taiwanese presidential palace appears to have a more nationalistic twist, as tensions remain high between Beijing and Taipei.
The model of the of the presidential palace even has the red and white facade of the building from which Taiwanese President Tsai Ing Wen runs the autonomous island.
The front of the mock-up can also be seen very briefly in the below promotional video from 2015 which, according to The War Zone, would have been two years after the structure was built.
Here’s the prior archived state media footage:
Since the election of Tsai in 2016, the Taiwanese government has drifted further away from any potential reunification between Taiwan and China.
This has culminated in strained ties between the two governments, with Taiwan increasing its military capabilities, thanks in large part to the United States.
Satellite photos recently captured by Planet Labs and republished in The Drive:
At the start of 2020, the Taiwanese military carried out a large-scale exercise on island against a potential Chinese invasion force.
This exercise sent a message to Beijing that Taipei is prepared for a potential war with China, should diplomatic efforts collapse.