18 January 2018
The PLA has stepped up its training efforts since President Xi Jinping became Communist Party general secretary and chairman of its Central Military Commission (CMC) in late 2012, in line with his plan to turn it into a modern fighting force capable of conducting long-range power-projection operations.
“We saw more air-land-sea mobilisation training, involving strategic lift of massive numbers of troops and materiel across vast distances, at the theatre level, and also more inter-fleet training in the navy, as well as other instances of joint exercises involving multiple armed branches and services,” said Collin Koh, a maritime security expert at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Koh said the higher profile given to PLA exercises was designed for both external and domestic audiences.
“It projects Beijing’s image and stature overseas, helps defend a country’s national interests through the threat and use of armed force, boosts national pride amongst Chinese people,” he said.
However, Koh said, it was “not fully reflective of the effectiveness of its actual performance in real operations, since political control over the PLA has also tightened”.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 22/01/2018