Needless to say, the video did not go over well in Taiwan, where it has been widely reported on. According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, a defense ministry spokesman, Lou Shou-he, said that simulating such an attack is “unacceptable to the Taiwanese people and the international community.”

The video is full of political symbolism. For one thing, Taiwan is getting set for a presidential election in early 2016, and it is very likely that the pro-China Kuomintang will cede control to the more independence-minded Democratic Progressive Party. For that reason, some suggest that the simulated attack is China’s way of reminding Taiwan that it will make good on its promise of invading if Taiwan declares independence.

The building itself also has a political history. It was built by Japanese colonial rulers in the late 19th century, a reminder to the Chinese Communist Party that it has not always been in control of Taiwan. And it has since become a symbol of Taiwan’s open government, as home to its democratically elected president.

The featured image for this post is from Wikimedia under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.