Wednesday, August 12, 2009

China's military launches long-range war games


China's military launched war games Tuesday aimed at deploying forces at long distances, reflecting moves to ensure security in the restive western regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.The exercises will send 50,000 armored troops - the People's Liberation Army's "largest-ever tactical military exercise" - to unfamiliar areas far from their bases for two months of live-fire drills, state media reported.The exercises involve four brigades from the major military regions of Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou, which all will be deployed at least 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) from their bases, the reports said.Such deployments would be needed to reinforce units in Tibet and Xinjiang, where security forces have battled renewed ethnic conflict and anti-government violence over the past two years.China also continues to claim territory along its remote border with India over which the two fought a short but bloody border war more than 45 years ago. Its navy, meanwhile, has grown increasingly assertive in defending territorial claims in the South China Sea.

"In the unprecedented exercise, one of the PLA's major objectives will be to improve its capacity of long-range projection," the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said the war games constituted the army's "largest-ever tactical military exercise," although numbers of troops involved were relatively small.The 2.3 million-member PLA is the world's largest standing military.Long-distance deployment is also aimed at dealing with natural disasters such as last year's devastating Sichuan earthquake, which left almost 90,000 people dead or missing, according to Ni Lexiong, a military expert at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law."This is really about a rapid response to sudden events in Tibet and Xinjiang, but also the military will play an increasing role in moving supplies and responding to disasters," Ni said.The PLA has undergone a rapid upgrade in recent years in both equipment and doctrine.

Two decades of almost annual double-digit increases in military spending have allowed the addition of cutting-edge fighter jets, nuclear submarines and hundreds of ballistic missiles pointed at rival Taiwan. China has announced a 14.9 percent rise in military spending in its 2009 budget, to 480.6 billion yuan ($70.3 billion).At the same time, training and tactics have been redesigned to take advantage of information technology and China's much-improved economy and infrastructure.The military has also taken steps to emerge from its traditional veil of secrecy and engage with other nations, most strikingly in sending ships to join the international anti-piracy flotilla off the coast of Somalia this year.

8 comments:

* 50,000 armored troops
* >750 miles (1,200 kilometers)
* for two months

That's an "Operation Desert Storm" style deployment.

It's going to be very impressive. It took allies forces nearly a whole month to gather enough armada to wage a large-scale military strike.

Wonder if the air components will be there too. Air sovereignty and naval lockage (Desert Shield) preluded 1990's ground force maneuver.

This exercise has been announced since April this year. Longest distances with 2,500km. Rapid deployment is for sure one reason. But in my oppinion is the main reason for this exercise is as follows:

PLA works since almost 10 years in officers tactical training to realise independent brigades. The PLA used the warsaw pact doctrines so far.
What is the reason to train and manage independant brigades? They are a key ability for Joint / Combined operations. It shows to us: "Hey, now we are able to deal with highly mobile an independant brigades!"
But this is one step of many following. They are going to build carriers in the next decade, in my oppinion in next 5 years. Carrier Varyag will be ready for training next year -my guess.
Next step will be training of CAG's. After this they will take emphasys on training of marine forces. This enables China to deploy overseas.
So for the first you can draw a 2,500 km circle from Chinese shores. Than you know, who probably is in "influence" ;)

All in all a logical step for a comming local power. It's a long way forward to get their forces at state of the art. But know they have taken the probalbly most dificult one in their doctrine. The fact they announced it, shows me, they are self confident enough to "show" their abilities in this matter.
It's not common in Chinese culture to boast. If they show something, they are sure, they can handle it.

I feel that this military war games focused mainly on India. otherwise, I do not see any reason why PLA should use more than 50K men (only army), 750 miles, plus required amount of military equipments and weapons and for two months!

PLA feels that, with these many troops and equipments and 750 miles, then can penetrate India through Arunachal Pradesh (AP) and can reach up to Assam-Bengal Border, cut India's North-Eastern States from the main land and plan to occupy AP permanently. Similarly PLA can enter Ladakh and cut off Leh from Indian Army. With the supports of PLA-AF, they will definitely strike hard on Indian Defense Establishments. In this scenario, one must not neglect the recent article on India "China Must Cut India into Pieces" by a Chinese Think Tank.

Moreover, the situation is very much suitable for China. The USA in the mercy of China. The might of EU is only in paper. They are basically "bums". Russia lost the all her power, only her voice is audible, thanks to the oil and gas. And the whole world depends on China from appliances to Toys.

So India, watch out. The corruption from the ruling govt to armed forces is the main factor for their demise.

Interesting blog. I liked it.

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